HEALTHY DISH

For this year’s hol­i­day sea­son, we’re do­ing some­thing dif­fer­ent: A DIY wine mulling kit!

Better Nutrition - - CONTENTS - /// BY JONNY BOW­DEN, PHD, CNS, AND JEANNETTE BESSINGER, CHHC

The Gift that Keeps on Giv­ing For this year’s hol­i­day sea­son, we’re do­ing some­thing dif fer­ent: A DIY wine mulling kit!

Mulled wine is a tra­di­tional sea­sonal drink made with red wine— but it’s so much more. ( And if you’re like me and don’t drink al­co­hol, you can make a non­al­co­holic ver­sion that’ll work just as well.) You can think of mulled wine as “wine plus one,” with the “plus one” be­ing a rich con­coc­tion of de­li­cious— and in­cred­i­bly health­ful— spices.

Chef Jeannette and her fam­ily de­cided to give wine mulling kits as Christ­mas presents this year, so we all get to ben­e­fit. That’s be­cause she put the whole thing in an easy- to- fol­low recipe that will al­low you to de­light your friends and fam­i­lies with this orig­i­nal and thought­ful gift.

Since wine is our fea­tured in­gre­di­ent this month, let me make sure to give props to the sup­port­ing cast of this in­ven­tive lit­tle recipe. Ap­ple cider is a rich source of many of the plant com­pounds found in ap­ples, in­clud­ing flavonoids, which have mul­ti­ple doc­u­mented health ben­e­fits. Gin­ger is an­tiox­ida­tive, anti- in­flam­ma­tory, and may even in­hibit in­flam­ma­tory pro­cesses in the brain. Cin­na­mon also does dou­ble duty as an an­tiox­i­dant and an­ti­in­flam­ma­tory, and in some stud­ies has been shown to help lower blood su­gar.

In Asian medicine, cloves are thought to be among the spices that pro­mote en­ergy cir­cu­la­tion and in­crease metabolic rate. And the highly re­spected Ger­man Com­mis­sion E has ap­proved their use as an­ti­sep­tics and anes­thet­ics. Peo­ple who have eaten in In­dian restau­rants are prob­a­bly fa­mil­iar with car­damom be­cause it’s usu­ally of­fered in a dish by the cashier’s sta­tion— like mints in an Amer­i­can restau­rant. But car­damom does a lot more than make your mouth taste good af­ter eat­ing. It’s been used as a di­ges­tive aid since an­cient times, and is known for eas­ing stom­ach cramps, stim­u­lat­ing di­ges­tion, and cut­ting mu­cus.

So as­sem­ble this lovely lit­tle pack­age and send it off as a gift. It’s as easy as count­ing to four. One, you make the spiced syrup. Two, you pack it up with a bot­tle of red. Three, you throw in an or­ange ( or ap­ple) and a box of raisins. Four, you print up the di­rec­tions, stick it all in a nice gift box, and you’re done. Chef Jeannette even of­fers a su­gar- free op­tion. This will be a stock­ing stuffer gift ev­ery­one will love!

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