Ingredient Spotlight: Candlenut

Oh the Candlenut. Also known as Kemiri in Indonesian, Kukui in Hawaii, and a staple in food, beauty, and health treatments. Also known affectionately as “the poor man’s macadamia nut” in Indonesia, we love this ingredient for not only its variety of uses but the benefits it has! Here are some popular uses in Indonesia:

Beauty:

  • Crushed into bits, the soft candlenuts can create a beautiful exfoliating and hydrating scrub – the soft nuts gently slough off dead skin cells while the dry oils of the candlenut moisturize your skin at the same time.
  • Candlenut oil is an extremely popular choice for a deep conditioning/head massage treatment called the Cremebath, for making hair healthy and black, with a silky shine.

Food

  • A staple in Indonesian cuisine, Candlenuts are often cooked into curries, giving dishes a delicious, lightly nutty and savory flavor.
  • Toasted whole, it tastes like a lighter, crunchier version of a macadamia nut – bon apetit! (Note: Candlenuts must be cooked before eaten.)

Health

  • The oil from roasted candlenuts can be massaged into a babies’ head as a treatment for cradle cap. The dry oil penetrates skin gently and deeply, without any greasy afterfeel (hence its signature velvety feel), leaving skin healthy and not covered in oil.
  • Candlenut (aka Kukui nut) oil is also great for giving relief to eczematic skin due to its high skin penetrability, allowing moisture to enter while also letting skin breathe.

Candlenut Oil  is very high in Omega 3 and Omega 6 Essential Fatty Acids (EFA).  In fact, the oil is 69% EFA, which puts it up there with Flax Seed Oil and Chia Seed Oil (71% and 70% respectively).  Almond Oil has 17%, Avocado has 10%, Rice Bran Oil has 36%, just to give you perspective. Why is this important?  Application of EFA is key in strengthening the skin’s lipid barrier which is why, for example, Evening Primrose Oil (81%) is often prescribed for Eczema Patients.

It also contains glycerides of linoleic, oleic and various linolenic acids, which are essential to skin health.

We love the oil so much our cult classic product, the Candlenut Body Creme, is based on Candlenut oil! As the product that started it all for JUARA, it has become a love-at-first-sight product for countless JUARA customers, celebrities and beauty editors. An ultra-nourishing complex of velvety Candlenut Oil, firming Rice Bran Oil, redness-reducing Avocado Oil and rich Illipe Butter give you long-lasting moisture without the greasiness… definitely more than just a “feel good” product, but one that’s good for you. Curious? Learn more here.

Candlenut Body Creme

Likewise, our popular Candlenut Hydrating Shower Gel is a sulfate-free, delightfully foaming body cleanser infused with candlenut oil that takes you to the tropics with our signature Candlenut fragrance, while leaving your skin supple, clean, and soft. Encased in an elegant bottle, this shower gel is as pleasing to use as it is to the eye in the beautiful batik-inspired bottle and easy-to-use pump. Curious? Learn more here

Summer Readiness – Here We Come.

Summer is the season for sunshine!  With beaches, dining al fresco, summer fridays (read: buh-bye office walls!), and generally being outdoors, you can easily be more prepared than you realize! You’ve heard repeatedly to never leave the house without sunblock, reapply several times a day (as its effectiveness reduces with light exposure, or just from coming off from sweat/daily activities), but there’s a few extra tricks up our sleeve to keep your skin summer fresh and healthy. Being inspired by Indonesia, a tropical country with sun all year round, JUARA knows what a doozy rays near the equator, eternal sun and humidity can do, so here’s our faves to tackle common sun related skin situations!

SUNBURN RESCUE:

Oops. Didn’t we say slather up the SPF? Well, it happens to the best of us… the sunburn. Sunburns are caused when skin is overexposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays and can happen in as little as 15 minutes, but can take 2-6 hours for the symptoms to appear. Some symptoms of mild sunburn include redness and tenderness, and for that, our Tamarind Tea Hydrating Toner is a great skin soothing treatment. It contains rice bran extract, which specifically reduces redness and irritation, hyaluronic acid and tamarind see extract to moisturize and cool – without oil or alcohol, and triple tea extracts packed with anti0xidants. It really is instant relief. (For serious symptoms including blistering, fever, chills and nausea, we suggest going to the doctor!)

toner

GREASE BE GONE:

Does summer weather and humidity put your skin into a tizzy? Does your skin range from “well, it’s rather shiny” to “a greasy mess?” Our Sweet Black Tea & Ginger Mattefying Moisturizer is oil-free, yet contains Kombucha, our anti-aging fermented black tea complex, plus ginger and cinnamon that reduces sebum production. This means the moisturizer does not only reduce oil-induced shine at the moment, but it also means that the more time you use it over, the less “shiny” your skin will naturally become!

Sweet Black Tea & Ginger Mattefying Moisturizer

Another anti-shine darling? Our Clove Flower & Turmeric Anti-Aging Serum. Also with our Turmeric infused Radiance Complex, this oil-free serum serves as excellent hydration with seaweed, while containing skin firming ingredients including palm peptides, clove flower, and goji berries. Like an exotic fruit cocktail for your face – just less messy, and way more immediate in its firming, skin-smoothing results!

JUARA Clove Flower & Turmeric Anti-Aging Serum

POST-SUN RESET AND REFRESH:

Once you’ve been exposed to a day of rays, it’s always good to refresh and rejuvinate your skin! Counter sun, travel, or pollution exposure with our Turmeric Antioxidant Radiance Mask, which contains our potent Turmeric extract which neutralizes free radicals and brightens for a healthy “I am so HEALTHY!” glow. And we like to get our sexy natural radiance on – ready for the next day. This mask also contains Kaolin Clay is blended with Candlenut Oil to purify skin, absorbing impurities, while also keeping it moist and not overdried. Great for all skin types, just make sure you take it off when you leave the house because it just feels THAT GOOD on after 10 minutes! (Or just do what we do for a super treatment – apply a thin layer and leave on overnight. Wake up to the morning glow. Literally.)

 

And of course, we remind you to stay hydrated, make sure your sunglasses have a UV filter on them, try out a sun parasol if you’re feeling particularly stylish like some do in Asia, and keep smiling! Got any sun tips to share? We’d love to hear it!

You can see the JUARA products here

Simple and Inexpensive Ideas to Make Mom Feel Extra Special

As the daughter of a mother who has always put the needs of others above her own, I am always in search of gifts that would show the love and appreciation I feel for my mom.  Wellness and self-care are high on my list, but I also know that spending time together is a big thing for my mom.  Interestingly, as a mother of 3 little kids, I crave me-time and catching up on sleep.  My mother, on the other hand, as I know a lot of mothers of grown kids do, values few things more than spending QT with her kids.  Here are some simple, inexpensive ideas to combine a beauty gift with time together.

 

1)  Give Mom a Hand Treatment

Who doesn’t love a great hand cream!  Hand Creams are amongst the most popular Mother’s Day gift ideas, but you can turn a simple hand cream into a super relaxing experience for Mom.  Next time you see her in person, sit down with her and give her a 5-minute massage.  There are a ton of how-to’s online, including this one on Wiki:  Want to take it even further?  Prep your mother’s hands and lower arm with a gentle cream scrub you can just wipe off before following with a hand cream.

Suggested Products:

Coconut Illipe Hand & Nail Balm ($20, 2.5 oz/ 73 mL)

Candlenut Body Crème ($35, 7.5 oz/ 213 g)

Candlenut Body Polish ($35, 7.5 oz/ 213 g)

 

2)  Found a Great Mask? Mask & Relax Together!

There is something incredibly relaxing about putting on a mask, maybe because it forces us to slow down a bit.  Why not take a 10 minute break with you Mom, apply the mask and sit down with her with a cup of soothing herbal tea!

Suggested Products:

Turmeric Antioxidant Radiance Mask ($38, 2.5 oz/ 73 mL)

Java Plum Avocado Nourishing Mask ($38, 2.5 oz/ 73 mL)

Rose Willowbark Purifying Mask ($38, 2.5 oz/ 73 mL)

 

3)  Enjoy a Home Made Jamu with Mom

What’s good for health and wellness is also good for outer beauty.  Jamu, the ancient Indonesian herbal tradition goes back centuries, but you can easily re-create a simplified Jamu drink at home and enjoy with your Mom.  Pour boiling water over a few slices of fresh turmeric and/ or ginger.  Add lemon, honey and a dash of black pepper – voila!  If fresh turmeric is hard to come by, just mix some turmeric powder with honey to create a paste and drop into a cup of hot water.

Check out this detailed recipe for a quick-and-easy Jamu!

 

4)  Try Some Beginner Yoga Moves Together (or Tai Chi, Pilates, Stretches, etc.)

Perhaps your Mom already does Yoga.  Maybe Tai Chi is more up her ally – It does not really matter, as long as it is simple for both of you and creates a shared experience that allows you to be present in the moment without any of the usual distractions.

Check out these beginner poses from Health Magazine.

You can see the JUARA products here

Happy Mother’s Day!

 

Turmeric in Sweets? Try these Delicious Blueberry Peach Turmeric Muffins!

We all know Turmeric from Indian, Thai and Indonesian food.  It gives curry its yellow color and adds a slightly bitter, mustardy flavor. Turmeric is also one of the most important Indonesian Jamu ingredients with all kinds of powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.  But sweets?  Absolutely!  After playing around with various amounts of Turmeric and fruit combinations, I went bold – voila, curry colored muffins that are fluffy and aromatic with beautiful pops of purple color and juicy peach.

What’s key?  Use whole wheat pastry flour instead of regular whole wheat flour to get a more delicate texture.  Buttermilk or Kefir ups the fluffiness factor.  Cinnamon and brown sugar adds depth while also balancing the assertiveness of Turmeric.  And lots of real butter….butter makes everything in life better… Enjoy for breakfast, brunch or afternoon tea.

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/4 Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

1/4 Oat Bran

1/4 Flax Seeds

1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

Pinch of Salt

1 tbs+1 tsp Turmeric Powder

1 tbs Cinnamon

1/2 cup+1 tbs Brown Sugar

1/2 cup+ 1 tbs Butter, melted

2/3 cup Kefir or Buttermilk

2 eggs

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 Banana, ripe and mashed

1 cup Peaches, chopped (canned peaches ok)

1 cup Fresh Blueberries (frozen Blueberries seep too much juice and alter the curry color)

 

DIRECTIONS:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin tray with muffin liners.

With a hand mixer, combine brown sugar, butter, buttermilk and vanilla extract until smooth.  Add eggs and mix until smooth.  In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients, spices and salt.  Add the dry combination to the wet mixture while continuing to blend with hand mixer.  Once the mixture is smooth and fluffy, add mashed banana and mix well.  Put away hand mixer and carefully fold in chopped peaches and blueberries.  Fill muffin cups and bake 20 minutes.  Insert a toothpick into a muffin.  If there is no dough stuck to it when you pull it out, the muffins are done.

ENJOY!

5-Minute Self-Care in a Jamu Drink for 25 Cents

Better self-care is high on my list of new year resolutions.  As a mother of 3 little kids, I have also become an ULTRA-pragmatist.   Unless something is quick and easy (and financially reasonable), I know I won’t do it on a consistent basis, no matter how good it is for me.  In other words, acts of self-care have to fit into YOUR life.  Committing to one Jamu drink a day has long been one of my self-care goals.  After playing around with various Jamu recipes, I’d like to share with you my 5-minute version of Kunyit Asem (a Jamu drink made with Turmeric and Tamarind) that is super easy to make but packs a punch.

This drink is a wonderful way to start the day or to calm down before you go to bed, or whenever you have a free 5-minute window in between.  Kunyit Asem has a long tradition in Indonesian medicine to treat and prevent a whole list of ailments.  Turmeric has potent anti-inflammatory properties that help with joint pain, stomach issues, diabetes and even depression, while Tamarind is said to help with cold & flu symptoms, nausea and blood sugar balance.

Also:  While I think it’s awesome that when you are in a hurry, you can now just buy Jamu-like drinks at the health food store or juice bar, they are not exactly cheap.  This 5-minute Kunyit Asem will cost you about 25 cents per serving.  So here it goes:

You Need:

  • Re-usable tea bag or coffee filter
  • Grater (e.g. cheese or garlic grater; a zester would be too fine)
  • Half a Knob of Fresh Turmeric
  • Quarter Knob of Fresh Ginger (Optional.  Technically not part of Kunyit Asem, but yummy nontheless)
  • Tamarind Paste
  • Dash of fresh black pepper (makes the active in Turmeric more bio-available!)
  • Raw Honey to taste

Directions:

  1. Bring a cup of water to boil (takes about 3 minutes) and put reusable filter/ tea bag over a mug.
  2. In the meantime, wash the Turmeric and Ginger and grate it straight into the filter/ tea bag.  Don’t worry about peeling the Turmeric and Ginger if you wash it’s organic and you wash it thoroughly.
  3. Pour boiling water into the mug.  Steep for about 1 minute.
  4. Remove filter and mix in half a table spoon of Tamarind Paste into the tea.  Add a dash of black pepper and raw Honey to taste.

Enjoy!

 

Notes on Ingredients and Tools:

  • Reusable Coffee Filter:  I use Primula Single Service Coffee Brew Buddy, which is sold for $6.75 at Amazon.
  • Grater:  I use OXO Good Grips Coarse Grater, which is sold for $11.99 at Amazon.
  • Fresh Organic Turmeric is sold on Amazon for $8.65/ lb.  Wholefoods sells if for $7.99  My Indian grocery store sells it for $6.99/ lb.
  • Fresh Ginger is usually about $4.99/ lb at a regular grocery store.
  • Tamarind Paste:  I use SWAD Tamarind Concentrate which cost $5.49 for a 14 oz jar at Wholefoods, $3.99 at my Indian grocery store (52 half-tablespoon servings per jar) at the healthfood store.
  • You can read more information on the ingredients’ health benefits, click:  Turmeric, Ginger and Tamarind)

 

 

 

 

Mental Anti-Aging Practices

As the co-founder of JUARA, I’m often told “You don’t look your age.” To which I say jokingly, but not really, “Well of course… I use JUARA. You’re looking at the original guinea pig!” But in addition, they also say “Well, it’s also because you don’t ACT your age.” Now that’s a different thing. Judgment aside, I think they mean “You have more energy, always on the go, excited about something, and therefore look younger!” I did some thinking – against what standard am I supposed to act? I don’t feel ANY age – only my arthritic hip reminds me I’m not in my 20’s. But I do feel alive – and I think it shows.

There is an Indonesian philosophy about beauty called Rupasampat Wahyabiantara, which focuses on harmony between inner and outer beauty. With time, outer beauty may gracefully age, but inner beauty, knowledge and a youthful attitude can still blossom through time. I have a few, what I call, mental anti-aging practices I’ve found helpful over the years, which has not only kept me energized, but has also emanated youthfulness on the face. Speaking from my own experiences, here are a few I’d love to share, and plan on taking well into the new year!

Always learn something new, or improve something

Whether it’s another skill, another language, sport or just learning a different perspective of how others think, having an orientation of learning not only triggers neurons in the brain to create more new brain cells (you CAN teach an old dog new tricks!), but it also keeps the mind fresh, youthful and curious – not to mention current since the world is changing so quickly! The beauty of watching little children, as I watch my young nephews grow form babies through toddlerhood, is the wonder they have at everything. The positive sense that there is something out there that we can learn is beautiful, and feeling that way does brighten the eyes encourage the smile – both awesome and natural beauty enhancers, au naturale!

Practice gratitude to reduce stress

We know stress is a part of our everyday lives. Sometimes it can be overwhelming, from work, family, or just life! And stress doesn’t only bring on the frownies including furrowed brows and a frown (hello wrinkles!) but it also triggers an inflammation in the body which can also have negative effects on the skin including aging. A little exercise I like to do when I’m feeling particularly stressed or overwhelmed is to stop and just breathe for a minute, then think of 3 things that I am truly grateful for at that moment. It can be simple – like my Clove Flower & Turmeric Anti-Aging Serum that I can apply and it’s like an instant feel-good pick-me-up (this is not a plug from a brand owner, it is genuinely true…), friends who make sure I’m ok since I travel so much, and a bed at home which supports me well when I need to collapse at the end of a long, long weary day – we’ve all had those! Simple pleasures, really. And it does reduce stress. And Turmeric – adding Turmeric to your diet also helps your body better manage stress.

Do something that you believe in

There’s nothing that radiates youthful, positive energy like someone who is absolutely passionate about something they are doing, large or small. 2016, to say the least, has been hard on a lot of us for many reasons. 2017 is a time for not just reflection but change. We’ve had to think about what is important to us, now it’s time to act. Dedicating mindspace and time to support a cause that you feel strongly about can give you energy (vs imagine doing chores or tasks you abhore… how draining is that?). For me, supporting education has been important since Indonesia is a country where many children and young adults don’t have access to a good education – which means limited life/career opportunities – so I volunteer in organizations to help. It’s fulfilling, and I always feel energized after – and yes, in general, it does show on my skin when it’s been a good day, vs a bad.

I can’t understate the importance of a healthy skin maintenance routine. I view it as a form of self care, respecting our bodies and how we treat it. The time we spend on our skin is time spent nourishing ourselves! We formulate JUARA products using clean ingredients in the Indonesian heritage combined with safe technology that makes the products work, leaving us feeling really good after – because that’s how we should feel. I still remind myself why we named our skincare line JUARA, which means winner/champion, because to be champions of our destiny, mind and body, a good inside-out mental + physical practice is an important part of the journey!

Let’s Drink in the New Year!

And no, I’m not referring to the  “would you like that shaken or stirred?” drink variety. I’m talking more of the post holiday Jamu inspired easy-to-make herbal drinks that specifically address digestion and cleansing because, well, the holidays. Maybe your new year comes filled with resolutions, new goals, and aspirations. Perhaps we tell ourselves “I promise to eat better and exercise more.” Every. Single. Year. But to help get into that mode, let’s reset our bodies and give our systems an encouraging boost from all the holiday feasting with this easy to make, delicious and natural tea from Indonesia!

Wedang Jahe

This gingery spicy drink can be drunk hot or cold, and is easy to make. Ginger, a root in the same family as turmeric, cardammon, and galangal, is used heavily in Jamu tradition to aid with overfull or upset tummies and nausea. It is warming and great for circulation. Lemongrass contains vitamins A and C, folate, folic acid, magnesium, zinc, copper, iron, potassium, phosphorus, calcium and manganese – plus a delightfully pungent and flowery citrus aroma. BOTH are also known to be anti-inflammatory (great for our digestive tract overworked from indulgence), anti-bacterial (great for upset tummies), and contain anti-oxidant properties. Prepared together, it’s like a match made in heaven, or at least that’s what your body will think. This traditional drink’s recipe is loose and simple – play with the ingredient amounts to taste, the way people in Indonesia make their own versions.

  • Combine 2 parts fresh ginger (washed and sliced thin) with 1 part fresh lemongrass (chopped roughly is best) with several cups of water.
  • Bring to an easy boil for at least 20 minutes to bring out the flavor and nutrients out.
  • Optional: We add a Pandan Leaf towards the end to add a sweet, green fragrance to the tea, but in the US, you can substitute with a dash of vanilla extract after done boiling, for aroma.
  • Pour the tea (without the ginger and lemongrass bits) into mugs of choice. Sweeten with honey, agave, palm sugar, or brown sugar, or coconut sugar.

The great part is if you don’t drink all the tea at once, it’s easy to store the remaining unsweetened tea in the fridge, with the ginger/lemongrass bits still in it. The tea will just become more flavorful! Reheat whenever you want more.

Pro tip:

If you’re a ginger lover, before you slice it, crack or crush/slightly flatten the ginger so the surface breaks and you can see the inside (like how you crush garlic with a side of a knife.) Then pan sear (without oil) until the skin shows a light tan. The cooking heat brings out the ginger’s pungent flavor so when sliced and boiled packs an extra punch.

Presentation tip:

In Indonesia, wedang jahe is often served in clear mugs, with a thin but tall talk of lemongrass in the mug for decoration. You can also include a few slices of the ginger in the clear mug – it will look pretty – and your body will thank you!

For another good health drink that’s a little heavier but also great for the liver, check out the recipe of another Jamu staple, Kunir Asem here. It’s an oldie but a goodie – as these recipes are centuries old and timeless!

Don’t Knock the Eggnog! Spice it up.

Happy Holidays! Time for holiday cheer, or at least holiday drinks to keep the festive season going. One of my favorites is actually good ol’ eggnog with its creaminess. Sometimes I’ll add a little rum to it, but other times, I get a little more creative with my Indonesian inspirations.

Choosing Eggnog: If you’re not going to make your own and find yourself wandering down the aisle of Whole Foods (or your favorite grocery store) browsing eggnog varieties, one thing I like to look for is organic milk, and as few “thickeners” as possible, such as guar gum, carrageenan, etc. They are not necessarily bad or “dirty” ingredients per se, but if you can get eggnog with the shortest ingredient list with ingredients such as organic milk, cream, sugar and eggs, why not? If nothing else, it tastes better – to me at least.

Eggnog with Antioxidants? Yes!

I don’t usually associate Eggnog with a health drink, however you can sneak a little bit of spice in there to boost its health benefits without compromising taste – like a pinch of turmeric powder plus a crack of black pepper. Not only does turmeric have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory health benefits, it also becomes more easily absorbed by your body in the presence of oils/fats (and if there’s one thing eggnog has, it’s fat!) In small amounts, turmeric powder is fairly flavor-neutral, without the earthy flavor of its natural counterpart often used in Indonesian cuisines or health tonics like Indonesian jamu. The black pepper additionally aids in the absorption of turmeric’s benefits into the body, making it more bio-available, so go ahead – add a little spice to a holiday season!\

Cup o’ Holiday Java…

Coming from a tropical island of coffee and coconuts, I love mixing eggnog with coffee & coconut oil served warm. Coconut oil is great with coffee not only because of coconut oil’s great benefits, but in particular because it helps the caffeine release more slowly in your system so you get a more sustained energy boost vs the big jolt and crash. For festive cheer, I like a good amount of eggnog in it, making it quite yummy and comforting, whether in the office or at home. Add more excitement? Sprinkle with cinnamon, also a common ingredient used in Indonesian beverages to add warmth and sweetness without the sugar. The thick sweetness of the eggnog is cut by the deep, dark, bitter taste of coffee – it’s almost like a super rich, lightly sweetened café-au-lait with a hint of spices. Move over Pumpkin Latte, here comes something new.

Just typing this up got me in the mood for some eggnog – let’s see which one of the two I’m going to make now! Got any interesting holiday concoctions to share?

Beras Kencur: An Easy Jamu Recipe Your Kids Will Enjoy

I think by now my kids, (at least my 2 older ones) have figured out that Mommy’s daytime pre-occupation, JUARA, has something to do with healthy skin, funny-looking ingredients and mysterious herbal elixirs (a.k.a. Jamu).

Jamu is Indonesia’s system of traditional herbal medicine using natural roots, flowers, leaves and seeds, for both prevention as well as treatment of a variety of ailments.  Jamu is said to have originated 1300 years ago at the Javanese Royal Courts, but it is still practiced today and is widely available in all of Indonesia.  Ingredients frequently used in Jamu include Turmeric, Ginger, Cinnamon and Tamarind.Hello

While my kids have largely resisted most of my home-made Jamu concoctions, despite my many promises that these drinks will give them superhero powers, I have finally found one easy recipe, “Beras Kencur,” that was actually quite a hit with the kids.  Beras Kencur, made of Galangal (aromatic ginger), Cinnamon and Rice is a popular JAMU drink and natural remedy for a variety of common ailments, including lack of energy and a cold or cough.  Interestingly, it is also known to stimulate appetite in children so that they actually eat well during meal times (as opposed to the chronic snacking that happens as a result of not eating enough during the regular meals).

I have adapted and simplified the traditional Beras Kencur recipe to include ingredients that are available at any regular grocery store in the US:  Rice, regular Ginger (instead of Galangal, a.k.a. aromatic ginger), Cinnamon sticks and Coconut Sugar or Honey.  For an added yumminess-factor, traditional Beras Kencur is often flavored with Pandan Leaf, which gives it a sugar-cookie aroma but since Pandan Leaf is hard to find, even in NYC, I use good old Vanilla extract.

My kids love anything and everything that has to do with the holiday season so when I heard “tastes like Gingerbread Cookies”, I knew I had a winner.

How to Make Easy Beras Kencur:

  1. Boil 1 tablespoon of rice flour (in a pinch, you can also use left-over plain, steamed rice), a cinnamon stick, a few slices of fresh ginger and a couple of drops of vanilla extract in 3 cups of water for about 20 minutes.
  2. Strain.
  3. Let cool for 20 minutes.  Add Coconut sugar to taste.  Serve warm or chilled

Have you ever tried the original Beras Kencur in Indonesia? Let us know what you think and how this modification works for you!

Recipe Spotlight: Coffee & Coconut Creamy Chia Pudding

Healthy, sweet, and special – that’s how I like my snacks and desserts, and not to mention, easy to make if I’m the one dishing out the goodies! Lack of time and a small pantry shouldn’t stop anyone from being able to whip up something delightfully yummy, so here’s a go-to treat I whipped up just last week. Inspired by tropical theme, but perfect for a city girl, this pudding combines energy boosting coffee, healthy fat and electrolyte filled coconut milk, and omega-rich chia seeds to give you instant – and sustained – energy through the day!

Why is this so good for you:

Benefits of Coconut Milk:

There is a reason the coconut is a staple in Indonesian cuisine – from being cooked in curries to freshly grated in desserts. And the water – we drink it straight out of the coconut! The electrolytes, including potassium and magnesium, and fatty acids in coconut milk help you, contrary to what intuition says, build muscle and lose fat. It also helps fight fatigue and sustain your energy. The healthy fats also curb your appetite, reducing the desire for snacking. It also is rich in lauric acid, which contains natural anti-bacterial properties. Lauric acid is also linked to improved cholesterol and overall heart health.

Benefits of Coffee:

Indonesia is known for its famous coffee regions: Sumatra, Bali, Sulawesi, the list goes on. This energy boosting cup of java we love contains antioxidants and other nutrients including Riboflavin, Pantothenic Acid, Manganese, Potassium, Magnesium and Niacin. It also has shown to have protective effects on the liver and may also reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes when drunk in moderation. Other studies have linked coffee to a decreased chance of developing Parkinson’s and Alzheimers.

Benefits of Chia Seeds:

Chia seeds are a superfood loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals (calcium, potassium, magnesium to name a few,) and of course, are a chock-full of omegas to help skin, hair and nails remain lustrous and smooth – a great anti-aging benefit. Chia seeds are also shown to help reverse inflammation, regulate cholesterol and lower blood pressure, all elements that contribute to a healthy heart. Also loaded with fiber and protein, a lot is packed in this tiny seed!

Recipe time! Coffee & Coconut Creamy Chia Seed Pudding

Coffee & Coconut Cream-ChiaSeed PuddingServes 2:

4 heaping tablespoons Chia Seeds

3/4 cup coconut milk (or other coconut creme or milk blends.)

3/4 cup hot coffee (or I like to take an espresso shot and add water)

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon molasses

To add for variety (Mix and match to taste):

  • Chopped, dried figs  (medium to fine pieces – I prefer medium so it keeps its texture.)
  • Finely chopped almonds or walnuts
  • A Splash (or 2) of Rum to taste
  • Toasted coconut

Directions:

Spoon 4 tablespoons of Chia Seeds into a bowl or a large cup. Slowly add in the coconut milk, stirring so the seeds don’t clump on the bottom of the bowl.

Add honey and molasses to the coffee separately, until completely dissolved. It’s much easier to dissolve the thick sweeteners in warm-to-hot liquid than in the cold coconut milk. If accessible, you can use palm sugar or coconut sugar instead of honey if available. But if using honey or agave, I like the molasses because it adds a bit of a rich flavor to the sweetness.

Pour the sweetened coffee into the chia seed-coconut milk mixture and stir. Add the extras (nuts, rum, figs , etc…) and stir some more. Wait about 2-3 minutes, and stir the bowl to keep the chia seeds from sinking as they soak up the liquids. Once you see them starting to suspend in the coffee-coconut cream mixture, cover the top and refrigerate for 30 minutes or more.

Garnish with chopped figs, coconut pieces, or just dig right in! (For sheer decadence, if you want to go for a dessert vs snack, this pudding tastes great with a side of coffee or coconut ice cream!)

Beauty Beat: Coffee & Creme on you!

If you don’t have time to make the pudding, but a huge fan of coffee & creme, I highly recommend the JUARA Skincare Coffee & Creme Skin Smoothing Body Ritual. It is a duo of a rich, dark roasted coffee scrub that cleanses and exfoliates in the shower, followed by the decadent Candlenut Body Creme  – its fluffy, buttery texture and deep hydration with a signature velvety, non-greasy feel. It’s like a dessert in the shower!

Coffee & Creme Set - Invigorating Coffee Scrub + Candlenut Body Creme

Best Selling: Coffee & Creme Skin Smoothing Body Ritual

You can see the JUARA products here.