Monday, November 28, 2016

Winter Sunshine

Jan Drexler (The Mid-Westerner)

Why haven't there been many pictures of Thatcher lately?

Have you ever tried to catch wiggly fur ball?

There's my handsome boy! I had to bribe him for this one... :)

On to today's recipe - -

A couple weeks ago, our own Cate Nolan shared a post about turmeric. If you missed it, go read it now, but then come back! Here's the link.

This recipe is how I get my turmeric, my vitamin C, and lots of other good stuff.

And it's so tasty!

I have to give credit to a couple other people, though. I didn't think this one up on my own!

The core of this recipe is from Trim Healthy Mama's Singing Canary. (also delicious, but a little more complex).

Then last spring, my friend Martha Greene of Marmee Dear & Company, shared a simpler version on her Facebook page. (Check out her Facebook page!)

I tweaked her recipe a little, but not much.

You need some special ingredients for this drink, but they're easy to get thanks to the internet.

The Daily Sunshine Drink

If you have one of those handy stick blenders (I love mine!), combine all the ingredients in a 1-quart mason jar and blend them there.

Otherwise, put the ingredients in your blender...


1 cup water
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 teaspoons stevia sweetener, or 3/32 teaspoon pure stevia
1 teaspoon Vitamin C powder
1 scoop integral collagen
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon orange extract, or 8 drops orange essential oil
1/8 teaspoon lemon extract, or 4 drops lemon essential oil
pinch mineral salt

Blend together, then add 4 to 6 ice cubes and more water to make one quart, and your drink is ready to enjoy!

Now, about those special ingredients...

These two are your Vitamin C powerhouses. The lemon juice is in your local grocery store. I buy the Vitamin C powder on-line. Each teaspoon of the powder provides 450 mg Vitamin C. Here's the link to this powder on Amazon.

I buy my Integral Collagen from the Trim Healthy Mama website. What is this stuff? Here's the link from THM to tell you more about this product. Basically, it's gelatin broken down into shorter amino acid chains. You can substitute gelatin powder for the collagen without affecting the benefits. Here's a link to gelatin powder on Amazon. Or you can use Knox gelatin (those orange boxes from your grocery store).

Benefits? It's supposed to soothe joints, your nervous system and help your skin, nails and hair. I know my nails are stronger and my hair is thicker since I've been using this.

It's just another form of my mom's remedy for brittle nails from the 1950's - Jello. :)

Sorry about the fuzzy picture...  Be sure to use a good quality turmeric. Some of the cheaper brands have been found to be less than pure, triggering a recall a couple months ago.

I use stevia as my sweetener of choice. You can also use sugar, but that tends to defeat the low sugar lifestyle I'm trying to maintain...

The Truvia, on the left, is a blend of stevia and erythritol (a natural zero carb sugar alcohol). The erythritol lessens the bitterness that some people taste in pure stevia.

The stevia package on the right is from Trim Healthy Mama. I haven't found it to have that bitter edge, but different people have different tastes.

I use 3 teaspoons of the Truvia, or 3/32 teaspoon of the pure stevia. (In THM language, 1/32 teaspoon is called a "doonk." So 3 doonks.) :)

The flavorings. Katie, my future daughter-in-law, is my supplier for doTerra essential oils. I really only use this one and the lemon for this drink. They add a zing!

But you can also use extracts from the grocery store to achieve the depth of flavor that makes this drink sing. I'm not into essential oils, and I'm sure there are benefits from using them instead of the extracts, but I'm really looking for flavor here.

Real Salt from Amazon
There has been a lot of talk about salt lately. Between the pink Himalayan Salt and the black salt from India, and every color in between, you can go crazy trying to figure out which is the best. And some of those gourmet salts are pretty spendy...

Some people will say that salt is salt. Good old sodium chloride is all you need.

But I figure that if I can increase my intake of beneficial minerals while I'm salting my food, why miss that?

I use Real Salt as my mineral salt. The price is reasonable (especially when you buy it in bulk), and it's been around for years.

And one more thing - - If you like cold drinks in a Mason jar, don't forget to put a sock on it.

Clean orphan socks love to find new purpose as a drink cozy!

This drink is one way I stay healthy during cold and flu season. What are your favorite tricks?

Jan Drexler loves her family, her home, cooking and just about anything made by hand. But she loves her Lord most of all.

Stop by Jan's website to learn more about her books:


  1. I had to read this three times. I had no idea people ate/ drank things like this. Question: the essential oil part. Does that go IN the drink? Or was that something you use to stay healthy?
    I loved the blurry pictures. Totally looks like 90% of my kitten photos. And the sock is genius!
    To keep healthy, we usually just stick to oranges, sunlight, and chicken stock for my Vitamin C (and D) and gelatin needs. I make the stock with chicken feet. (I know. Weird. But I follow a recipe from our 1868 cookbook and it's so tasty!)

  2. Also, very interesting about the stevia and erythritol blend. I have a friend who cooks with stevia and everything has a horrible aftertaste to me. I wonder if I'm tasting that bitterness that the erythritol? I also cook with molasses which some people find bitter but tastes delicious to me, and use dates as sweeteners in muffins but I've heard some people don't like. Taste buds are a mystery!

    1. Sorry, "tasting the bitterness that the arythritol helps cut" is what I meant to say.

    2. Good morning, Mary Jane!

      Your essential oil question: yes, it goes in the drink. But you can also use extracts (sold on the baking aisle in your local grocery store).

      The stevia is a matter of taste...and where you buy your stevia. The taste is affected by both the leaves (their growing conditions, etc.) and the manufacturing process. The erythritol in Truvia is added to soften the bitterness. You might try different brands if you find one to be bitter. Also, you can get use too much stevia pretty quickly - less is better, because over-sweetening makes it bitter.

      On the other hand, some people never learn to like stevia. Like me with coffee - I never drink it because nothing I do gets rid of the bitterness. So all you can do is experiment!

      And yes, with your lifestyle, you're already getting plenty of the nutrients this drink helps provide. I also try to spend a lot of time outdoors and I make my own stock (ham stock/bone broth is in the Crock Pot right now - smells fabulous!), but most of the time I feel like I can use a boost in the Vitamin C category. And the extra collagen is necessary for my aging body.


  3. First, that's why I can't photograph Jeter, too! He never stops moving. He's adorable, but one wag of that huge tale knocks babies over!

    Perpetual motion machines.... but so lovable!

    This looks like a good idea. I think my girls would love this, and it would be good for me.

    Probably better than the eggnog pie filling I just ate.


    Don't tell.

    No one need know.

    I've never tried Truvia/Stevia. I've always liked aspartame (don't judge) and I'm willing to risk certain death.



    Death IS certain! Silly me! :)

    I've got to order turmeric and I'm going to copy your recommendation, now there's a nod of trust, Drex!!!

    Integral collagen... My nails will LOVE you!!!!

  4. I just read Mary Jane's question... and you're so right, taste buds are diverse. And hormones can magnify or dull certain regions of taste.... and smell. I kind of blame hormones for most everything, good and bad.

    Lacey uses power drinks every day to help keep her calorie intake and nutrients balanced. And with winter (possibly) coming, we all try to figure out ways to not gain weight over the shortened days, darker/longer nights and not as much outside time.

    Finding this balance is a tough thing sometimes!

    1. I blame hormones for everything, too! Grrr!

      And that winter weight gain! We're fighting against nature. Our bodies are made to store up energy during the long, lean winter months. But then we decide that the winter months are the times when we eat the most.

      Wait, maybe that is the plan!

      Anyway, it's a fight every year, isn't it?

      I hope you enjoy this drink. I'm on my way to the kitchen to whip up one right now. :)

  5. LOL -- I adore all the pictures of Thatcher. I can just imagine all the bum wagging in the absence of a tail. He's such a handsome boy -- such striking markings. Give him a kiss on his furry forehead from his Auntie Kav.

    This drink sounds intriguing. Have to admit to not being a stevia fan though. Have tried it a couple of times and just blech. It's super expensive up here too.

    I don't have any secrets for staying healthy over the winter months except isolation. Which has worked for me the last few years. Not fun though. :-) I take vitamin D and B12 which are both supposed to help with the immune system but that's all I've done so far. And chocolate. An important food group that must not be skimped on.

    1. Thatcher's tail is's just very short. So it wags, but you have to look closely to see it!

      BTW, did you know that some Corgis are born with naturally cropped tails? Someone around here had a litter recently that had two puppies with long tails, two puppies with half-length tails, and two were short/no tail. The parents must have had a strange combination of genes!

      And staying away from people is the best way to stay well! Alas, my husband works in a hospital where he's exposed to every germ in western South Dakota. He stays pretty healthy, but I know he brings those germs home some days. They must sneak in his pockets when he isn't looking!

  6. I haven't tried this sipper yet, Jan. Probably because I pretty much stick to tea and water. I'll have to give this a try. It would be good for helping ward off winter colds.

    1. I love this flavor combination! And it's a great substitute for OJ (with those simple carbs!). The Singing Canary is good, too. But sometimes I just don't have the time to assemble all the ingredients. This is much simpler.

  7. Hi Jan, I've been waiting for this recipe. Too bad I'm eyeball deep in report cards at the moment so I'll have to wait. I've been craving healthy drinks.

    Thanks so much for sharing,

  8. Jan, this sounds good! I've never heard of adding gelatin, but I bet it gives it some thickness.

    I love those photos! Thanks for the big laugh. :)

  9. BTW, I also mean to say that I love Truvia! It definitely made the Stevia less bitter for me.