I have a love/hate relationship with the word SURRENDER, too. (I hope this is not a trend) Actually, I used to; I think I have made some serious peace with the word surrender over the last few years. (Adopting from Haiti helps. So did spending time in the pit.)
Sometimes the dread of something is almost always worse than the real thing. When I had health breakthrough #2, (food allergy diagnosis) it was late October. I had surrendered to the need for meds in a few previous winters, but I was now so much healthier I had been off them for quite a while. Still, I was nervous. What if the winter is really long, and I fall back in?!
Then a little voice whispered in my head “This is going to be the best winter ever.” And you know what I did? I surrendered to the idea! I jumped with two feet into what the shorter days meant:
Cozy wood-stove fires. Gorgeous fall foliage. Comfy sweaters and jeans. Hot chocolate. Tea- LOTS of tea!
I didn’t think much past that at first. I just decided to enjoy autumn with a different refrain ringing in my ears: “This is going to be the best winter ever!”
And I stocked up on CINNAMON! Cinnamon pine cones, cinnamon candles, cinnamon sticks. Cinnamon is one of my favorite smells of fall. I like it on apple things, and pumpkin things; I like it on toast. You get the idea. 🙂
The other day, I was thinking about warm, fall drinks- you know, the sweet frothy ones with cinnamon sprinkled on top, the kind that people drink at Starbucks, while I sip “refresh tea,” the only thing I can safely drink there. But don’t feel bad for me!
This is what I came up with!
I wanted it to be dairy and soy free, and very cinnamon-y! Then I thought of using an almond milk base. So! I put 3-4 tablespoons of almonds, 1 cup of water, and 2 medjool dates into my Vitamix, and blended it until smooth. (Almond milk comes out nice and frothy). I poured it into my cup and added a pinch of nutmeg to stir in. Then heated it up until it was just hot enough in the microwave (about 30 seconds). (You can strain the milk if you have texture issues. Sometimes I do, sometimes I am too lazy).
Then I wanted to try for even a little richer, more desert-like, drink, so I whipped up some coconut milk, with a little almond flavor, and some maple syrup, to drizzle on top.
And sprinkled some cinnamon on top!
The flavor is creamy and rich and just-sweet-enough. A delightful dessert-drink that won’t leave me with a sugar-crash. I am just finishing the last sip, in my rocking chair, next to the toasty woodstove, to the sound of Andy Griffith on the television, and a steady rain falling in the background to complete the cozy atmosphere.
Welcome, Autumn! 🙂
P.S. RECIPE NOTE: I made this again today, and made it with HOT water, (it frothed up REALLY well), and added vanilla to the blender. Then I added CARDAMOM with the nutmeg to the mug. I added an extra date, because I made 1.5 cups of water so there would be enough to share this time. Looks like I’ll be sharing it from now on! 🙂
P.S. Surrendering to the Shorter Days is a lot easier if I have been Purposeful about the Summer first. This year I opted for the beach whenever I could, and ate simpler meals and let the laundry pile up just a little in order to be outside more. Who needs heavy meals and lots of clothing when a burger and a salad and a bathing suit does the trick? Last fall, I started the school year burnt out from the previous one, because I was so busy all summer, I forgot to do summer. I learned my lesson.
This post is part of my 31 Days series: Embracing Autumn- So long Seasonal Affective Disorder! (Find complete list of posts here). You can subscribe to receive my posts daily in your email. Just pop over to my homepage, and type in your email in the little box on the right!
Big SHOUT-OUT to the NESTER, for hosting this fun blog challenge again this year! Be sure to check out the other great series being posted by all of my fellow-bloggers here!