There is nothing I love to serve my family more than fresh, raw vegetables and fruits from our own garden. Right now, here in Florida, we’re thankful for a bumper crop of Malabar spinach. We have citrus trees, moringa, bananas, guava and papaya. The mangos are ripe, and I’m using the dehydrator to create delicious dried mango snacks. I grow herbs like tarragon, which is great in salad dressings, as well as basil, rosemary, mint and lemongrass. I'm a true believer in the power of fresh juicing — it’s such an amazing way to capture the vibrant vitality of fresh vegetables and fruits. I love to create new juice blends depending upon the season, what my body craves and what’s coming up in the garden. I’m also devoted to Ayurvedic cooking, and I use fresh turmeric and ginger root from our garden in so many different ways. Right now I’m really excited about a warm or chilled anti-inflammatory tea blend, spiked with a little clove and backyard local honey.
Of course, there's nothing like having a terrific meal out. The food at Christopher’s Kitchen here in West Florida (4783 PGA Boulevard, Palm Beach Gardens, +1 561 318 6191), for example, is everything I love—organic, local and crafted with care. (I can’t say enough about the fresh juices, which are fabulous.) When I’m in Miami, I always make my way to Matthew Kenney’s Plant Food (105 NE 24th St, Miami, +1 305 814 5365), where he so creatively explores the possibilities of raw cuisine with amazing flair and flavor. In the same way, I delight in my visits to The Butcher’s Daughter, in NYC and in LA, a great place to experience the boundless beauty of incredibly nutritive food.
My favorite immune-boosting elixir for fall blends fresh turmeric, ginger and cinnamon together. Each ingredient is known for its ability to invigorate a healthy response to environmental antagonists. Curcumin, the active ingredient in super-charged turmeric, is celebrated for its anti-viral properties and helps decrease inflammation, which can weaken the body over time. I think you’ll love this deliciously bright way to shore up the body’s defenses.
IMMUNE BOOSTER TEA
WHAT YOU NEED
1-2 large pieces of fresh organic turmeric, peeled and sliced
2-3 1-inch pieces of fresh organic ginger, peeled
1 organic lemon, halved
1-2 organic cinnamon sticks
3-4 small cloves
Local organic honey
WHAT YOU DO
In a medium to large pot add turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Squeeze the 2 lemon halves and place remaining lemon in pot. Cover with 32 oz. of water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add honey to your liking. Steep for 10 minutes.
I like to drink a cup of hot, freshly brewed tea and enjoy the rest at room temperature or chilled throughout the day. I hope you love this tea as much as I do!