Baked Grapefruits with Honey, Ginger, and Cardamom

Shake off the January "Blues" with this enlivening, fat-burning snack!

This recipe was inspired by Joyful Belly Ayurveda and More than Paleo.


Oh baby, it's cold outside. Frigid temperatures and overload of tasty treats have you feeling a little sluggish? Grapefruits are a beautiful citrus fruit that can help bring a little zest into our lives, and help get our bellies back on track. According to Ayurveda (yoga's sister science), bitter and sour are the two flavors  to favor this month, as we transition past holiday indulgence and move toward cleansing in preparation for spring. Grapefruit offers both, and is a delicious canvas for other digestive boosters such as ginger and cardamom. And an added bonus: grapefruit improves fat metabolism, and encourages bile to move through the liver for a cleansing effect. Yum yum!

Honey (local and organic if possible!) is a wonderful sweetener in small doses. Like grapefruit, it stimulates fat metabolism, so you can enjoy this combination without guilt. If using, make sure to drizzle the honey on after the grapefruits are baked. Honey is widely considered to become toxic when exposed to extreme heat.

And feel free to try other flavor combinations as well! Try it with a dusting of cinnamon and a sprinkle of walnuts for a little variety. Enjoy!

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Ingredients:

1 grapefruit, rinsed, sliced in half, and seeded
Pinch ground cardamom
Pinch dried and ground ginger
Drizzle of local, organic honey

Alternate topping:
Sprinkle of ground cinnamon
Handful of chopped walnuts

Method:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
Place the grapefruit halves, rind down, on a parchment-lined cookie sheet
Sprinkle with your spices
Place the cookies sheet in the oven for 15 minutes or so
Allow to cool a smidge, serve, and enjoy!

Benefits:

Cardamom: This spice is an excellent source of iron and manganese, making it a rock star for blood and cellular regeneration. It also contains significant amounts of riboflavin, niacin, vitamin C, and can be used as an anti-spasmodic and digestive aid. Great for the belly AND the heart. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Ginger: Ginger is very effective in alleviating symptoms of gastrointestinal distress such as gas, bloating, motion sickness, and morning sickness. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Grapefruit: This citrus fruit is packed with Vitamins C and A. The pink varieties are an excellent source of the phytonutrient, lycopene, which has been touted for its ability to battle cancer-causing free radicals. Grapefruits also contain phytonutrients called "limonoids" which help inhibit tumor formation and growth. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Honey: Often called "Nature's sweetener," local, raw, honey is a great way to add sweetness to your life. Raw honey is packed with vitamins and minerals and offers anti-bacterial and and anti-viral properties. But according to the Ayurvedic tradition, don't cook honey. Adding significant heat to honey both strips it of its vitamins, minerals, and enzymes while creating cellular toxicity. So add it to your cool dishes, or to warmer dishes AFTER they have finished cooking. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Borscht

Beets. It's what's for dinner. There's something so magical about this dish. Maybe it's the rich-magenta hue, or the smooth and creamy texture. Whatever it is, I've enjoyed this dish since infanthood and wanted to share it with you. There are lots of variations. Some like it chunky, others like it puréed. I prefer the latter. Serve it warm or cold, by itself or topped with a drizzle of créme fraîche, truffle oil, or snipped chives. You really can't go wrong with this velvety soup. Bon appétit.

Ingredients:

6 medium sized beets, skinned, roasted and chopped 1 medium sized onion, chopped 2 medium carrots, skinned and shaved (using a potato peeler) 4 cups chicken, beef, or veggie broth *1 can kidney beans (optional) A splash of cooking sherry 4 tbs. nutritional yeast (optional, but lends to the creaminess) 2 bay leaves Juice of 1/2 a lemon Salt and pepper to taste 1-2 tbs. coconut oil for sautéeing 1 drop doTERRA lemon oil *1 drop doTERRA dill oil (optional)

Method:

Heat up a medium stock pot over a medium flame.

Melt coconut oil and add the chopped until. Sautée until lightly browned and aromatic.

Add the shaved carrots, beet, and beans (optional).

Sautée together until the flavors have cross-mojinated. (About 3-5 minutes)

Add the broth and the bay leaves. Cover and bring to a gentle simmer.

Allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remove the bay leaves.

Place in the blender (may have to blend in batches) with the nutritional yeast, sherry, lemon juice, and essential oils.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve warm or chilled. Serve as is, or top with créme fraîche, a dollop of Greek yogurt, fresh herbs, or a swirl of truffle oil.

Benefits:

Beet: A great source of phytonutrients called betalains, which provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support. They are also an excellent source of folate, which is a crucial nutrient especially for those who are (or are looking to get) pregnant. They are also very high in manganese and fiber. These root veggies contain nutrient compounds that help protect against heart disease, birth defects and certain cancers, especially colon cancer. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information (raw) (cooked).

Carrot: Carrots are well known for their rich supply of the antioxidant nutrient, beta-carotene, which is GREAT for our eye health. However, these root vegetables are also a great source of a variety of antioxidants and other health-supporting nutrients such as vitamins A, C, K. Studies have shown their effectiveness in the prevention of colon cancer, and their benefits to our cardiovascular health. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Dill Essential Oil: Dill is a powerful anti-bacterial, antioxidant, antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, carminative(prevents gas and fermentation in stomach and intestinal tract), and digestive aid. See here to learn more about doTerra essential oils.

Kidney Beans: These legumes are packed with fiber, folate, and tryptophan. They also abound with a special trace mineral called molybdenum, which helps combat sulfites (a food preservative commonly found in wine, and foods found in salad bars). They are also an excellent source of protein, and minerals such as manganese, iron, and copper. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Lemon Essential Oil: Lemon oil has many properties including anticancer, antidepressant, antifungal, antiviral, antiseptic, and antioxidant. It is refreshing and invigorating, had can be used to help lower blood pressure, improve memory, ease sore throats and anxiety, help dissolve cellulite, boost energy, calm digestive problems, cleanse the lymphatic system cleansing, and promote a sense of well-being. It is also miraculous for removing grease, gum, oil, and unwanted marks and spots. See here to learn more about doTerra essential oils.

Nutritional Yeast: Nutritional yeast is a staple source of protein, particularly for vegans and vegetarians. It is one of the few non-animal sources of B-12, is rich in folic acid and other nutrients and amino acids. Nutritional yeast is free of the Candida Albicans strain, making it safe for those concerned with candida. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Onion:  Like garlic, onions are high in sulfur (and while that might make us a little, ahem, stinky, this may be an important part of a our otherwise sulfur-deficient diets. They are a very good source of vitamins B6 and C, fiber, and manganese. They help protect our blood, bone, and connective tissue. See here for other health benefits and nutritional info. Please note: due to its rajastic nature, garlic and onions are NOT part of the traditional Saatvic diet.

*NOTE: Not all essential oils are created equal. I only use doTerra because their oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, which is suitable for internal, external, and aromatherapeutic consumption.

*NOTE: All doTerra Essential Oils are extremely potent. I’d recommend 1 drop per dish. Otherwise, just know that you will have a VERY strong-tasting snack!

Click here to learn more about doTerra Essential Oils.

Citrus Cucumber Cleansing Tonic

This multipurpose beverage pleases the taste buds while flushing toxins from the body and regenerating your cells. Every morning I curl up in the window sill and gaze outside for even a few minutes, while partaking of whatever type of breakfast I can dream up. Today I felt a little sluggish, so opted for this delicious and simple juice. It's thicker than a "juiced" juice, but not quite as thick as a smoothie. If blended long enough it has a velvety texture. The flavor profile is gently sweet thanks to the apple and cucumber, but has a little edge thanks to the ginger and lime. The tarragon rounds out the flavors. Just delightful. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 cup coconut water 1/2 cucumber, peeled 1/2 apple, seeded and cored 1/2 inch hunk of ginger, peeled, 1/4 lime (you can either use the juice, or toss the whole lime wedge in if your blender can handle it) 1 sprig fresh tarragon 1 drop doTerra lime oil

Method:

Put all ingredients into the blender (I like my Vitamix) and blend to smithereens!

Serve with a lime wedge and enjoy!

*NOTE: Not all essential oils are created equal. I only use doTerra because their oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, which is suitable for internal, external, and aromatherapeutic consumption.

*NOTE: All doTerra Essential Oils are extremely potent. I’d recommend 1 drop per dish. Otherwise, just know that you will have a VERY strong-tasting meal!

Click here to learn more about doTerra Essential Oils.

Benefits:

Apples:  My, what balanced phytonutrients you have, oh beloved apple. Apples contain a wide array of polyphenols which help regulate our blood sugar. They're also a great source of Vitamin C and other antioxidants, and fiber. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Coconut Water: Coconut water is perfect for replenishing simple sugars, electrolytes, and minerals within the body. It contains cytokinins with significant anti-aging, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-thrombotic properties, and is very soothing to the digestive tract. But there's so much more! See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Cucumber: Cucumbers contain three types of phytonutrients which provide with valuable antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer benefits. They are also very low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium and are a good source of Vitamin A, C, and K, pantothenic acid, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Ginger: Ginger is very effective in alleviating symptoms of gastrointestinal distress such as gas, bloating, motion sickness, and morning sickness. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Lime: Limes are vitamin C powerhouses. Great for immunity, vitamin C can also be helpful for preventing the development and progression of atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Lime Essential Oil: Lime essential oil is a powerful respiratory aid due to its anti-mucus and natural decongestant properties. It also aids in the cleansing of the lymphatic system, reduces muscle spasms and cramps, and is a proven pathogen inhibitor (think disease and cancer prevention!) See here for more information about this amazing oil.

Tarragon: Tarragon is an excellent source of minerals like calcium, manganese, iron, magnesium, copper, potassium, and zinc. It has also been used in various types of traditional medicine as an appetite stimulant, and as a remedy for anorexia, dyspepsia, flatulence and hiccups. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.