Anti-Inflammatory Latte

[Anti-inflammatory latte is a rich-tasting, comforting hot or cold beverage that's vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, egg free, soy-free,  yeast-free, low glycemic and suitable for all stages on an anti-candida diet.]

recipe for vegan, candida diet, gluten-free, sugar-free anti-candida latte

Those of you who’ve been reading this blog for a while know that the HH and I live with two dogs, Elsie and Chaser (who were kind of miffed when I changed the name of the blog last year, effectively removing them from the header). At twelve (human) years old, Elsie has naturally fallen into (dog) retirement mode: whereas she previously scampered down the stairs the second the HH’s key turned in the lock at dinnertime, she now labors down slowly, favoring her arthritic joints and looking a little like a furry slinky as it moves one step at a time. (Having torn my achilles tendon a few months ago, I kind of know how she feels). What was formerly a glossy, jet-black coat from crown to tail is now covered in white splotches surrounding the muzzle, on the belly and between the toes.  She’s even passed the title of “Household Guard Dog” on to Chaser, moving to the back of the hallway while her sister takes up the position of Bark Alarm any time someone approaches our front door.

Thankfully, one thing that hasn’t changed is Elsie’s enormous enthusiasm for food. Mention the word, “treat,” and she’ll wobble down the stairs at breakneck speed, tendrils of drool already escaping the sides of her mouth before she even reaches the kitchen. (On that score, too, I kind of know how she feels).

Despite various health crises that have ranged from annoying to alarming over the past 15 years, for me, food has remained the one constant positive note (a good thing, I guess, since I develop recipes and write about food for a living). No matter that I was forced to remove 60% of my dietary staples from the picture, first in 1999 and again in 2009; I never felt as if food had become a hindrance. To me, there are always so many options still left on the table–or wherever you happen to be eating–no matter the dietary restrictions that there’s always a way to appreciate the freshness, the flavors, the textures and the tastes of all good-for-you, healthy, foods.

I mean, what else compares to the snap of a juicy green apple? The tang and crunch of a pomegranate aril? The garlicky grit of a homemade hummus? Or the chewy pungency of a raw dandelion salad? And let’s not forget my favorite, homemade chocolate. Along with superior health benefits, all these dishes bring joy to the tastebuds, too. And it’s a bonus, really, that something so delicious can also be good for you. It brings me immense pleasure to know know that food really can be medicine–medicine that tastes great.

Recipe for candida diet, anti-inflammatory, sugar-free vegan latte on rickiheller.com

[Things are about to get hot in here: anti-inflammatory latte ready for the whisk.]

After my annual checkup last year, I was surprised to learn that my levels of CRP (C-reactive protein, a blood-based marker of inflammation in the body that correlates to increased heart attack risk) were elevated, even though I lack most of the risk factors such as diabetes, smoking, eating junk food or consuming alcohol. In my case, this predisposition is partly hereditary (my mom suffered four heart attacks at fairly young ages), but, according to my naturopath, it could also be linked to residual effects of dealing with candida for so many years.

I’ve decided the best way to tackle the issue is with food. Not in the “I’m going to pig out because I’m upset and this will comfort me” sort of way (though of course I’ve been known to use that tactic on occasion, too); but more in the “food offers health-enhancing properties that I can take advantage of–while still enjoying something delicious and satisfying” sort of way.

Remember that list of top anti-inflammatory herbs and spices I shared last time? Well, today’s recipe uses five of them, resulting in a sweet treat that’s not only incredibly tasty, but comforting, too. I’ve sipped on this latte several times over the past few of weeks, and even the HH is enamored. The flavor is rich and fragrant, a little reminiscent of chai tea (though oddly, I don’t much enjoy chai, and I do love this latte).  You won’t really notice any strong notes of turmeric or rosemary, but they do add a subtle perfume and their own unique anti-inflammatory properties.

Next up, I may try sneaking some of this beverage into Elsie’s water bowl. Who knows? It may help to reinstate her as Chief Barking Officer at our front door. As long as I call it a “treat,” I’m sure she’ll be game.

Dairy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, anti-inflammatory latte recipe on rickiheller.com

[Ooops. Just be sure not to spill your latte on your props. . . !]

gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan anti-inflammatory latte on rickiheller.com

Other recipes with turmeric you might enjoy:

Gingered Potatoes with Browned Onions and Tomatoes

SONY DSC

Tofu Breakfast Scramble

SONY DSC

Curried Red Lentil (or Split Pea) Soup

SONY DSC

Kitchari (Anti-Candida Stew)

kitchariclose

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 “Mum, the latte sounds good, but let’s forget about getting that job back as Guarder of the Front Door. I’m pretty happy just relaxing here while Chaser takes care of it . . . or not.”

Elsie and Chaser cute dogs on rickiheller.com

This post is linked to Gluten Free Wednesdays.

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Comments

  1. I could totally get into this, Ricki. Looks lovely!

  2. That looks delicious, no matter what food plan you’re on!

    • Thanks, Dorothy! I agree. My hubby has no health issues whatsoever, and he’s been asking me to make it for him just because he likes it! (I won’t tell him otherwise). ;)

  3. This looks really lovely and the health benefits are, of course, an extra bonus. I tried a commercial turmeric latte once and it was just too weak – not enough turmeric! Your version sounds more flavourful.

    I liked the dog anecdotes too ;)

    • Thanks, Kari! I figured there wouldn’t be much point to making it myself if there weren’t some actual flavor to it. ;) I also tried to include the maximum amount of spice for the best impact, while still maintaining a delicious flavor! :)

  4. I’ve been slurping up matcha lattes like there’s no tomorrow lately but this one might be a nice change. So intrigued by the rosemary in there, and beyond the health benefits, I’m sure the flavour is lovely.
    And Elsie sounds EXACTLY like Alfie. He’s also 12 and has lost a little of his liveliness, except when it comes to food!

    • Emma, you KNOW how much I love my matcha. . . I haven’t replaced it with this latte, but just added the latte to the mix. ;) Too bad we can’t get Alfie and Else together. . . at least they’d be moving at the same pace!

  5. Valerie says:

    What do you feed your dogs? Do you make food for them and is it gluten & grain free? I make food for my dogs because I do not trust the dog food that is on the market.

    • Hi Valerie,

      We use some prepared raw food for them, and I always add some of my own vegetables, flax oil, nutritional yeast, or other ingredients that I have on hand that day or think will be good for them. Plus, they’re my Number One taste-testers for all the recipes I create (unless they contain ingredients that dogs can’t have, of course). :)

  6. Glad the Girls are starring in a post – and I feel a bit like Elsie at the moment – ageing quickly but always loving food. Interesting latte – not my thing because I am not one for milky drinks (though I love the spices) but I think perhaps you should try selling it to starbucks :-)

    • Johanna, brilliant idea–LOL! (Hear that, Starbucks?). I do love milky drinks, so this quickly became a favorite. It’s great over ice, too, if you’re more a fan of that kind of thing. :) And I hear ya on the aging–it’s quite funny watching Elsie and me (with my torn achilles) both making our way slowly down the stairs!

  7. Oooh wow this looks delicious Ricki! I’m going to try this tonight. Just what I need as I’m struggling to get rid of some cystic acne on my back… ;( I love your coffee mugs too, very arabesque! xx

    • Thanks so much, Alie! Let me know what you think of it. And thanks re: the coffee mugs. The credit goes to my best buddy who got them for me as a housewarming gift many moons ago! :)

  8. That looks wonderful, Ricki! The addition of rosemary is interesting. Not sure I’d like that in my latte, but the rest sounds great. :-) Love the updates on the girls, too, of course. I was just reading Amazon reviews of Bromelain, pineapple extract, and one couple gave it to their dogs for arthritis and then ended up taking it themselves as well. They all benefitted. I knew that Bromelain was used as a digestive enzyme (and it’s recommended for after one is glutened), but I didn’t know its benefits went beyond that. Maybe the girls need Bromelain or some daily pineapple. I know that Sonny really benefits from his grain-free diet, too. Any time anyone sneaks him a gluteny dog biscuit or such, his body pays for it. Now I want pineapple! Luckily, I have some fresh pineapple, so off I go. ;-)

    xo,
    Shirley

    • Thanks so much, Shirley! You don’t actually taste any rosemary, I promise! (and hardly any turmeric, to my palate, anyway). I do take bromelain myself and have for years, but never thought of giving it to Elsie (who is already on glucosamine, MSM, and a few other natural supplements for her joints). Will try it for my Girl! We also feed the Girls a grain-free diet, so I don’t think that’s the issue, but maybe some grains/gluten are sneaking in somewhere that I don’t know about. Poor little darling, it pains me to watch her go up/down stairs now! I’ve been telling the HH that we need to move. ;)

  9. Patrice Klooster says:

    Hi Ricki,

    I am so excited to see this recipe as I have been craving my Starbucks late! Do you know if coconut milk would work in this recipe? Unfortunately, along with Candida, I also have a sensitivity to almonds, so can’t use almond milk.

    Do you think this would be good without the Stevia? I don’t have any, but want to try this today!

    Happy Canada Day!
    Patrice

    • Thanks, Patrice! I think coconut milk would be fine. If you’re using canned coconut milk, I’d dilute it with some water first, though, or this will be ridiculously thick and creamy (unless you want it that way. . . ) ;) The cinnamon does add a bit of natural sweetness, but I also think the ginger and cayenne (if you use it) are hot and spicy, so it might not be sweet enough. Then again, if you’re already accustomed to eating food without sugar, go ahead and try it out! Let me know how it works with coconut milk so I can tell others about it, too! :)

  10. Annemarie says:

    A note about your elevated CRP. My last blood tests also showed an elevated reading despite being plant based for decades eating low inflammatory foods, never smoked, little alcohol consumption, no family history etc.. I was baffled and concerned. My doctor ran the test a few weeks later and the results were back to a very low CRP.
    You might consider having the test taken again in case it was a false reading.
    Happy Canada Day!

    • Thanks for the information, Annemarie (and so glad about your own readings!). I have had my reading taken on several occasions, months apart, so it does look like this is an issue for me. The numbers go up or down a little this way or that, but so far not enough in my opinion. And sadly, I can’t say that my own previous history is as clean as yours was–I ate a lot (a lot!) of junk food and prepared foods as a kid–and then there’s that family history, too.

  11. Wow Ricki!! This latte sounds interesting…not sure about the combinations..but will take your word for it. i am just getting over meningitis so some anti inflammatory soothing beverages is just what I need! And i did a double take when i saw your beautiful tan ( is it a kelpie) poking its cute head out from under the couch…. It looks exactly like my princess Nala!! Will give the latte a go! thank you.

    • Thanks so much, Penny! Glad you are feeling better (and hope this latte helps). Not sure which dog you’re referring to (neither one is poking her head out from under a couch?), but I assume you mean Chaser, who has some tan on her. ;) She’s actually a border collie-German shepherd-lab mix! She’s a rescue. (And she’s incredibly wacky–this is one of her rare quiet moments!). :)

  12. Lorraine says:

    Is there a substitution for the rosemary for those who can’t tolerate salicylates. Many children, teens and young adults on the Autism spectrum, like my son, are very prone to candida in the gut. This would be a great addition to the candida diet and probiotics.

    • This would absolutely be great for candida, Lorraine! (not sure if you realized my blog is almost entirely anti-candida recipes?). You could, quite frankly, just leave out the rosemary if it doesn’t agree with you, or sub one of the other great anti-inflammatory herbs and spices instead (I’d go with a grain or two of black pepper if you like spicy). It’s a very subtle flavor addition, but one I included because it’s in the top 9 anti-inflammatory seasonings. But really, this drink is entirely adapatable to what you like! :)

  13. Yes but does it taste good ?

    • Toni, obviously everyone’s taste buds are different, but my husband (who can eat/drink whatever he wants, including Starbucks coffee with sugar and cream) and I BOTH loved it. The only way to know for sure, though, is to try it yourself! ;)

  14. Lynne L says:

    Hi Ricki…just an FYI…Dr Weil advises that since turmeric is not easily absorbed by the body, make sure to include a bit of black pepper (or eat a little something with pepper in it with whatever has the turmeric in it), because apparently the black pepper helps with the absorption. Your recipe (as always) looks yummy. I can’t seem to find anything but regular stevia up here (Toronto area), although I haven’t checked out my local health store yet. Wonder what I could use instead?

    • Lynne L says:

      Regular stevia & vanilla???

    • Thanks so much, Lynne. I actually came across that page after I’d posted the recipe! I think pepper would be a great addition, and you could use it instead of the cayenne if you wanted spiced without totally burning off your tongue. ;) I’m also in the GTA. I get the SweetLeaf English Toffee at Ambrosia (Yonge/Doncaster or else Highway 7/Weston Road). I suspect other stores must carry it, too? Let me know if you find it so I can share with everyone else! :)

      • Lynne L says:

        Wow, that’s a little far for me (although as a Saturday side-trip to the Hwy7/Weston one might work). I think I might phone The Big Carrot on the Danforth, or maybe Whole Foods in Oakville might have it…sounds so much better than mixing stevia & vanilla lol. Will let you know!

        • I’m north of the city, so not so far for me. But yes, I agree–a better option! If you’re not averse to ordering online, I know that iHerb.com and amazon.com both carry Nunaturals stevia. :)

          • Lynne L says:

            I’m northwest. I’ll try & find it first. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!

  15. Thanks for the recipe – I just made it today and apart from putting rather too much cayenne pepper into it (a lesson learned!) it’s really delicious and totally tastes like chai. I also put just a little dash of maple syrup into it to sweeten it. Yum!

  16. Wonder if you could make a bunch up at one time and store it in the fridge. I’m trying to figure out how to get rid of my Starbucks latte addiction. This is the best thing I’ve seen yet!! Can’t wait to try it!

  17. Interesting latte, it must be so flavorful! Never had a latte with so many spices added but I’m dying to try this out now :) !

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