WELLNESS AND WELLBEING: MarchMarch 15, 2023
WELLNESS & WELLBEING: A Stony Brook Village Self-Care Newsletter
Our team at Stony Brook Village knows that the past few years have taken a toll on everyone’s mind, body and soul.
This month, we are focusing on treats that will nourish us throughout the Spring. A special recipe featuring the topics in this newsletter awaits you at the end.
Time to dig in…literally!
MARCH: CHOCOLATE, TEA & OLIVE OIL
Did you know that the ancient Mayan people considered chocolate (a drink they made from cacao beans and water) the “food of the gods”? It was used ritualistically and medicinally for thousands of years. In today’s world, many people think of chocolate as an indulgence, or a guilty pleasure. Although it can be very sweet and overconsumption of it can cause health issues, in moderation eating chocolate has some incredible health benefits.
The anticancer, anti-inflammatory and detoxing compounds in chocolate balance your immune system and improve brain function and increase heart health. Chocolate has been linked to better athletic performance, enhancing muscles, lowering cholesterol and even improving insulin sensitivity and regulating blood sugar levels. Psychologically, chocolate has been proven to increase your serotonin and dopamine levels, decrease stress and reduce depressive symptoms. Stony Brook Chocolate prepares their handmade sweets with Belgium chocolate that is dairy free. It has lower sugar and higher values of minerals than your standard chocolate. Chocolate lovers, take note!
Springtime sniffles are upon us. Do you suffer from stubborn seasonal allergies or colds? If so, tea may be a staple item you should add to your pantry! Did you know tea has been used medicinally for nearly 5,000 years? In general, tea can prevent diseases, maintain cardiovascular and metabolic health, increase alertness and focus, and improve sleep and relaxation.
Nothing is quite as comforting as having a cup of tea and chatting with old friends! If the Spring season has you feeling down, here are the benefits of two of our favorite teas from Robinson’s Tea Room that are sure to warm your soul:
Rainbow Cookie Rooibos – this herbal tea contains natural components that block the release of histamines, helps to metabolize allergens and to alleviate symptoms, including skin irritations
Lemon Ginger – this tea brings not only a delicious sweet flavor, but also can help to reduce nausea and has antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties. Take that, Spring Fever!
Another ancient superfood that we cannot ignore is olive oil. Used for thousands of years, the fruit of the olive tree has long been linked to longevity. Health benefits of consuming olive oils include: reduced risk of cancer, diabetes, and dementia; promotes cardiovascular health, memory and brain function; elevation of mood and outlook; it even combats pain and inflammation…and that is just from consuming olive oil.
Imagine the health benefits of using olive oil that has been infused with herbs and flavors? The Crushed Olive in Stony Brook Village has over 60 different flavors of olive oil and balsamic vinegars for you to choose from. If you enjoy cooking, you should consider cooking with olive oil for additional benefits: self-confidence, self-awareness, more positive outlooks, encourages creativity and socialization, and you may even save money!
HAVE YOUR CAKE & FEEL GOOD ABOUT EATING IT TOO!
A Special Treat Just for You!
Chocolate Olive Oil Cake: A recipe inspired by Stony Brook Village!
Yield: 8 servings
- ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing the pan (we recommend the Crushed Olive’s Blood Orange or Butter flavored olive oil!)
- ½ cup Earl Grey tea from Robinson’s Tea Room (you could also use coffee from the Village Coffee Market or dry red wine from Lake Side Emotions Wine Boutique).
- ½ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- ½ bar of a Belgian chocolate bar (dark or milk) from Stony Brook Chocolate, chopped into chunks.
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
Step 1 – Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9-inch round pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
Step 2 – In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring tea or other liquid to a simmer, then turn off heat. Whisk in cocoa, cinnamon and salt until smooth, then set aside to cool.
Step 3 – In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine sugar, olive oil, eggs and vanilla. Beat for about 3 minutes. Reduce speed and pour in cocoa mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Gradually beat in flour and baking soda until just incorporated. Gently fold in chocolate chunks.
Step 4 – Scrape butter into prepared pan and bake until the sides are set but it’s still slightly damp in the center, 35 to 45 minutes. A cake tester should come up clean but with a few sticky chocolate crumbs clinging to it. Transfer cake pan to a wire rack and let cake cool completely in pan.