First of all: Happy New Year! I hope you all had a great celebration ringing in 2015.
The HH, The Girls and I enjoyed some down time at home after a veritable whirlwind during the month of December: Elsie’s health first deteriorated, then improved; my old achilles injury flared; and I marked 400 assignments and exams in about a week. With that behind us, the HH and I did manage a couple of festivities and a late December dinner party at my friend The Architect’s place (and hi, K!) as a way to ring in the year a bit early.
By the 31st, we were kind of pooped and could think of nothing better than chillaxing in front of the TV (you know, because we’re old people). I did quite enjoy watching Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper sling barbs at each other, however (for about 45 seconds).
And now, with the new year upon us, I have a confession to make. (Don’t worry, you don’t have to sit down or cover your eyes or anything). No, it’s not that I’ve already broken my resolutions (I didn’t make any). It’s not that I consumed more than my fair share of chocolate and peppermint over the holidays (even though I did). It’s not that I secretly wish Anderson would finally pummel Kathy the next time she demeans him on air (besides, that’s not such a secret).
It’s not that I don’t like coffee, believe me. In fact, even though I’ve not let even a single sip of java pass my lips since 1999–the first time I was diagnosed with candida–I still LOVE the smell of coffee brewing and remember it fondly. But since coffee is incredibly acidic (and anyone with candida wants to keep their diet as alkaline as possible), and since I’m not into the whole Bulletproof
fad trend silliness movement, I’ve chosen to stay away.
I tell you all this as a warning that, as alluring as it is, this libation may taste absolutely nothing like the coffee house version. In fact, this drink contains neither coffee nor a typical “hot” beverage of any kind (though feel free to sub Dandy Blend or another coffee substitute for some or all of the milk). To me, though, this drink was very reminiscent of my lattes of old, since my preferred coffee-like beverage was always fairly diluted in any case. Throughout my twenties and thirties, my idea of “coffee” was a cup half filled with fairly weak brew, then topped up with boiling water and finished with a splash of skim milk, for a final result that looked like Chaser’s bathwater after a run in the woods (yum). In other words, my caffeine intake from “my” version of coffee was about the same as taking a mug of Joe and passing it quickly under your nostrils to inhale a few molecules through the steam.
Whether you’ve imbibed the Starbucks version or not, I bet you will love this rich, aromatic, comforting latte. You may recall my infatuation with chestnuts last year around this time; the romance has continued since then, and I still love their delicate, nuanced nuttiness. The combination of carob and chestnut here creates a synergy of toasty, smooth and sweet that’s reminiscent of chocolate milk without actually containing chocolate–almost like savoring the center of a chocolate truffle in liquid form. The perfect way to set off the new year!
And finally, have you got 30 seconds to spare (literally)? If so, I’d love it you filled out this ONE QUESTION SURVEY to help me plan for the year ahead on the blog! Just let me know what I can offer to best help you in 2015. Is it more recipes (with our without added stories)? More advice on dealing with candida, or living sugar-free? More informational articles? Or something else? Just leave your response here (and feel free to mention more than one idea, of course) and I’ll do my best to implement the most requested ideas this year. Click here to respond. I so appreciate that you continue to stop by to read, comment, and offer your ideas, feedback and support. So thank you!
Here’s to a year filled with happiness, fulfillment and healthy sweet sipping on warm chestnut lattes. Bring on 2015!
Chestnut Spice Latte
A perfectly warming, comforting and indulgent tasting treat. Mixes up quickly with a thick, rich texture. Whip up a batch of this latte and store leftovers in the fridge up to 3 days–it’s great cold, too.
3.5 ounces (100 g–about 12 whole) skinned, roasted chestnuts (I buy the kind in vacuum pack bags)
1 Tbsp plus one tsp (20 ml) carob powder
1 tsp (5 ml) cinnamon
1/4 tsp (1 ml) cardamom (optional, but highly recommended)
1 Tbsp (15 ml) pure vanilla extract
1 tsp (5 ml) pure almond extract
2 tsp (10 ml) whole chia seeds
2 cups (480 ml) unsweetened plain or vanilla almond or other nondairy milk of choice, or a bit more, if desired
pinch fine sea salt
40-50 drops (1/2-3/4 tsp or 2.5 to 3.5 ml) pure plain or vanilla liquid stevia
Whipped coconut cream, if desired, for garnish (I used the recipe from Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free)
Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender (see directions for regular blender, below) and blend until very smooth. Transfer to a small pot and heat over medium-low heat, stirring frequently to prevent scorching, until warmed through. It will thicken as it heats up.
Pour into a mug and top with whipped cream if desired. Serves two. Store, covered in the refrigerator, up to 3 days. Reheat as above or consume cold.
Conventional blender method: Grind chia seeds in a coffee grinder or spice mill until powdered. Add to blender jug with remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Transfer to a small pot and continue as above.
Suitable for: ACD All stages; sugar-free, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, egg free, soy-free, yeast-free, vegan, low glycemic.
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