drinks juices, smoothies & healing teas

a traditional Ayurvedic herbal drink – Kashaya

3rd December 2016

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Kashaya is a deeply nourishing and soothing drink that brings calmness to the mind and supports the general health and balance of the system. Kashaya is appropriate for all constitutions and in all seasons.  It is recommended to consume at the end of a meal and to have once – twice a day.  Kashaya balances Vata, Pitta and Kapha, helps maintain the digestive fire and reduces heat in the body.

There are many variations of Kashaya – Below are two very simple and easy to prepare recipes for everyday use. They require only two of the main spices – cumin and coriander.  The first is a Kashaya powder which involves lightly roasting and grinding the seeds and the second, a simple infusion using the whole seeds.

Considering your constitution, it is good to keep in mind that jaggery is more heating for the body than brown sugar.

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coriander seed:

Coriander is one of the best herbs for supporting healthy digestion.  Bitter, pungent and sweet in taste.  It evokes the digestive fire while simultaneously cooling and soothing. It tonifies, increases absorption, improves digestive enzymes, reduces nausea and blood pressure.  Coriander seed removes excess heat in the body, making it useful in cooling Pitta-related imbalances associated with menopause.  It also supports proper function of the kidneys and healthy urination. The seeds combine well with Cumin to make an excellent digestive tea.

cumin seed:

Cumin is one of the best herbs for supporting healthy digestion.  Bitter, Pungent and Astringent.  It is carminative, aromatic, and on the whole, cool in action.   A common household spice, its Sanskrit name literally means ‘promoting digestion’.  In addition to providing flavour to food, cumin evokes the digestive fire, promotes healthy absorption and eliminates natural toxins.  It is useful to the eyes, beneficial to the heart and strengthens the uterus.  It enhances immunity and invokes good sleep.

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Coriander-Cumin Kashaya Powder

This recipe was shared by our teacher, Ganapati Aarya, as part of the Sadvidya Yoga Diploma.  It came about as an aid to reduce Pitta disturbances in the body and to assist with interrupted sleep due to menopause.  It is deeply nourishing and satisfying drink to have after a meal and satisfies that sweet craving, as well as benefiting from its wonderful medicinal qualities.  The key to opening up the real flavour is making sure that you get the kashaya to a rolicking boil just before straining – the heat changes everything.

Makes approximately 18 – 20 cups Kashaya

ingredients for kashaya powder :

⅓ cup/35g whole cumin seed

½ cup/35g whole coriander seed

preparation :

On a medium flame, heat a skillet until it is hot to touch. Dry-roast the cumin seeds until their colour deepens and a noticeable smell appears – approximately 1 minute. Seeds may start popping by that point.  Be careful not to burn the spices as they can ruin the taste of the kashaya.  Set aside to cool.  Place the coriander seeds into the skillet and repeat the process – the coriander seeds will take 1½  minutes to roast.

In a powerful blender/coffee grinder, grind the toasted cumin seeds to a fine powder. Pour into a bowl and set aside.  Repeat with the toasted coriander seeds – these may take slightly longer to grind.  Pour into the bowl with the ground cumin and combine well.  Store in an airtight container.  

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To preserve the medicinal qualities of the spices, it is recommended to make fresh every 10 – 14 days.

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to prepare the kashaya :

¾ cup water

1 heaped tsp Kashaya Powder

1 heaped tsp brown sugar/jaggery

1 – 2 tsp/5 – 10mL milk (less milk is easier on the digestion, especially in the evening)

preparation:

In a small pan, pour in ¾ cup water and bring to boiling point.  Add the Kashaya powder and sugar.  Allow to simmer for a few minutes.  Turn off the heat, add the milk, stir and pour into a cup (no need to strain as drinking the layer of powder which collects at the bottom is beneficial for the medicinal properties). Set aside to cool until moderately warm.  Enjoy.

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Whole Coriander-Cumin Seed Kashaya

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1 serving

Don´t throw away those left over seeds after straining, place them in a pot outside your kitchen or in the garden – in no time you will have fresh greens to harvest for your cooking.

ingredients :

½ tsp whole coriander seeds

½ tsp whole cumin seeds

1 cup water

1 tsp brown sugar/jaggery

1 tsp/5mL milk (optional)

preparation :

In a small pan, pour in 1 cup of water and bring to boiling point.  Add the whole coriander and cumin seeds and sugar.  Allow to simmer for a few minutes.  Turn off the heat, add the milk (if using), and strain the Kashaya.  Set aside to cool until moderately warm.

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rhubarb rose sparkle

9th June 2016

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The inspiration for this fragrant rose rhubarb drink was a conversation I had with my friend and guest Abi, on the day of my son´s birthday, when she was here with her three lovely boys. In a low whisper, she related her joyful tradition of popping champagne each time it´s her child’s birthday, to celebrate her anniversary as a parent.  With this thought and a showy abundant display of rhubarb & delicate pink roses opening up in the garden, I set about concocting a flowery ‘mock – champagne’ for us all to enjoy that afternoon, accompanied by birthday cake & ice-cream.

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Sweetened rhubarb has a wonderfully up-lifting flavour; when muddled with rose, it becomes positively enchanting. The hint of mint gives a balancing base note.

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rhubarb rose sparkle

serves 4

I find that the sugar is perfect with the rhubarb, but if inclined, you could use a mild tasting honey, adding it after it has been strained, and keeping in mind it will change the overall flavour. After making this the second time I used different coloured rose petals from the garden that have been left to dry completely on baking tray. It takes just a few days.  

For tips on how to harvest rhubarb; read here.

ingredients:

480g rhubarb, sliced into ½-inch pieces

1½ cups water

¾ cup/140g natural cane sugar

2 Tblsp dried rose petals

¼ cup fresh mint leaves

1½ cups fizzy water

Ice, for serving

preparation:

Place the rhubarb, sugar and water in a pot.  Bring to boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the rhubarb has fallen apart, 12 – 15 minutes.  Stir once or twice to help dissolve the sugar.  Remove from the heat, add the dried rose petals and fresh mint.  Cover, and steep for 10 minutes.  Strain through a fine sieve or cheesecloth, using the back of a large wooden spoon to extract as much liquid as possible.  Pour into a glass bottle and place in the fridge to chill.  When ready to serve, add the fizzy water, stir and pour into glasses.  Garnish with a sprinkling of rose petals and on really hot days serve with a few ice cubes added to each glass.

I recommend doubling the recipe.

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Sparkled by Abi

lemon barley water

27th March 2016

barley water table

Barley has a cooling thermal nature; sweet and astringent in taste.  Traditionally given to calm sore stomachs.

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-Marguerite daisy, also known as the Argyranthemum frutescens

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lemon barley water

Makes just over 1.2 – 1.5 litres

Recipe adapted from Spring the cookbook.

Lovely soothing, yet thirst quenching, drink.  You can add other flavouring to it besides lemon and honey – lemon verbena or ginger would work well.  Don’t discard the cooked barley.  Recipe to follow, or stir through a vegetable soup, or dress it simply with a little olive oil and lemon juice and add to a salad.

ingredients :

1 cup /200g pearl barley

10 cups/2.5 litres filtered water

3 – 4 Tblsp light-flavoured honey

3  Tblsp lemon juice, or more to taste

preparation :

Rinse the barley several times until the water runs clear, then pour into a saucepan and add the filtered water.  Bring to boil over a medium heat, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered until the barley is tender, this will take about 35 – 40 minutes.  Strain, reserving the cooking water, and set the barley aside.

Run the barley water through a thinner strainer into a pouring jug, add the honey, stirring until dissolved.  Allow to cool.

Add the lemon juice, taste, adding more honey or lemon as needed.

barleywater closeup

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medicinal mung dal juice

5th August 2015

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What can I say…….refreshing, cooling and deliciously cleansing.  It’s like drinking cool silk and the cooling effects on the body feel immediate.  This is a wonderful drink that I have been having three times a week to reduce the heat and Pitta imbalance in my body.

There are two recipes here – the first recipe is one which I have altered, using apple as a sweetener rather than the sugar.  The apple one has a much sharper, cleansing quality and the second one is a traditional Yogic recipe which was made as part of the Jivana Yoga Diploma – shared by Ganapathi Aarya, using sugar, which has a softer and soothing quality.  

In Winter, it is recommended to consume only twice a week, but in the hotter months, the recommendation is 3 times a week.  It helps to eliminate constipation and reduces heat in the body, particularly good prior to the menstrual cycle and for hormonal changes due to menopause.
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full moon twilight

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medicinal mung dal juice

serves 4 medium glasses

I recommend using fresh cardamom pods rather than powder to really benefit from the aromatic & medicinal qualities.  If you have time and the use of a juicer, make your own apple juice to benefit from the freshness and nutritional value of the apples.  

¼ cup whole mung dal (green gram)

3 pods cardamom (¼ tsp)

1 apple, cored and quartered

1 cup freshly pressed apple juice (approximately 2 apples) or unsweetened organic fresh apple juice

1 cup filtered water

Place the whole mung dal in a bowl and rinse with water.  Cover with 3 cups of water and soak overnight for 10 -12 hours.  Rinse and drain the soaked mung dahl, then set aside.  This should give half a cup.

Remove the outer pods from the cardamom.  Place the seeds in a mortar and pestle and grind until you have a fine powder.  Set aside.

In a high-speed blender, place the soaked mung dal, cardamom powder, apple pieces, apple juice and water. Blend on high speed for at least one minute or until completely smooth.  The juice will be frothy.  I like to enjoy as is, or it can be strained for a smoother consistency, as in the photo above.

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traditional Indian Yogic Mung Dal Juice (Green Gram Juice)

Good for all constitutions.  Eliminates constipation and reduces heat in the body.  Keeps the body and mind cool and calm.  Balances Vata & Pitta.  May be consumed in all seasons.  In Winter, it is recommended not to consume more than twice a week, while in Summer it may be consumed 3 times a week.  For those suffering from Kapha imbalance, it may be consumed as part of a main meal or alternatively a pinch of black pepper powder can be added for kapha reduction.  1 – 2 glasses may be consumed at once (200-300mL).

½ cup whole mung dal (green gram)

¾ cup brown sugar/jaggery

4 cups water

3 cardamom pods (¼ tsp)

Place the whole mung dal (green gram) in a bowl and rinse with water.  Cover with 3 cups of water and soak overnight for 10-12 hours.  Rinse and drain the soaked mung dal and set aside.

Remove the outer pods from the cardamom.  Place the seeds in a coffee/spice grinder or mortar and pestle and grind until you have a rough powder. Set aside.

In a high-speed blender, place the soaked mung dal, ground cardamom, sugar and water. Blend on high-speed for at least a minute or until completely smooth.  Pour into glasses and enjoy.

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peach chia breakfast shake

23rd July 2015

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Peaches left to ripen on the tree is a kind of sweet bliss, with their golden flesh and an almost rose-like scent…..

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Remember these little guys? and this one below, thinking I have something for him!  Which I always do.

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peach chia breakfast shake

serves 4 medium/3 large glasses

Recipe slightly adapted from ‘At Home in the Wholefood Kitchen’. 

For best results, it is essential to use home-made almond milk and the freshest, ripest local peaches. This shake is very smooth, creamy and subtly sweet, with the delicious flavour of the peaches and a delicate hint of coconut.  The chia seeds give it a luscious consistency.

As Amy Chaplin suggests, this shake can be transformed into a delicious peach-flavoured chia pudding. Increase the chia seeds to ¼ cup, serve with sliced peaches on top and a sprinkling of her toasted maple-coconut flakes – you will need to buy the book for that recipe.

ingredients :

1 Tblsp chia seeds

2 cups home-made almond milk (divided)

560 grams/3 – 4 large, very ripe peaches , pitted and quartered

1 Tblsp coconut butter/oil/coconut manna

1 tsp vanilla essence

tsp cinnamon powder

1 Tblsp honey

preparation :

Place the chia seeds in a bowl and cover with ½ cup of almond milk. Set aside to soak for 20 minutes, stirring every five minutes, so that the seeds are evenly distributed and covered.

Wash the peaches, and remove any bruised or spoiled spots. Cut them in half, remove the stone, and cut in half again.  Place the pieces into a blender with the remaining almond milk, coconut butter, vanilla essence, cinnamon powder and honey.  Blend on high for about a minute, or until completely smooth.  Add the chia mixture and blend for a few seconds, until just combined.   Enjoy as is, or place in the refrigerator to thicken and chill for 1 hour.

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strawberry raspberry & goji smoothie

18th June 2015

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One of my favourite flowers is the poppy.  Every year I have haphazardly thrown the seeds around the garden and then the following year, collected the dried pods and replanted them.

And now, every morning, I come out and find all sorts of colourful poppies surprising me in the garden.  The petals are soft, delicate and dancing about full of happiness.  There is something in seeing the gentle gracefulness of the poppy that softens the heart in its presence.

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strawberry raspberry & goji smoothie

serves 6 small/3 medium glasses

For the best results in making smoothies, use your own homemade nut milk.  Nutritionally, it is higher in quality and the taste is incomparable.  Use very ripe strawberries that are in season – the maceration process really makes a difference to bring out the luscious flavour in the berries.  You could easily use fresh coconut milk instead of the almond milk,  grinding ½ cup of the white flesh with the juice for a real coconut flavour.  The addition of goji berries provide an extra boost of antioxidants, trace mineral, amino acids, Vitamin C and beta carotene. Combined with the red berries, it is a power-house, nutrient-rich smoothie.

ingredients :

1½ cups homemade almond or nut milk of choice

2 medjool dates

450g very ripe strawberries

½ cup raspberries

2 Tbsp goji berries (soaked for at least 30 minutes)

3 Tbsp maple syrup

preparation :

Soak the goji berries in water until soft.

Top the strawberries and cut into quarters.  Place in a bowl with the raspberries, drizzle with maple syrup and a squeeze of lemon.  Allow to sit and macerate for at least 1 hour, or preferably overnight.  (For a very cold smoothie place the berries in the freezer for an hour after it has macerated.)

Place the berries and their juices into a blender and puree for a few seconds until smooth.  Pour the puree into a jug and set aside.  Rinse out the blender and place the nut milk and dates into the blender and blend until smooth and frothy.

To serve, fill a little more than half of the glass with the strawberry puree, then add the frothy nut milk on top.  For a decorative swirl, stir the puree with the nut milk, so that it creates a swirling design.  Use a toothpick on top to create a finer decoration.  Decorate with fresh mint and a spoon of heart-shaped strawberry pieces on top of each glass.

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healthy rich & creamy chocolate nut shake

22nd February 2015

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right knowledge + right action = good result

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plus I got to spend the afternoon doing silly stuff

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a healthy rich & creamy chocolate nut shake

Serves 2 

The frozen banana makes this shake rich and creamy.  If you don’t like the taste of banana, half an avocado will work just as well.   The protein from the almond butter leaves you feeling satisfied and full. The maca powder is rich in mineral content and a natural hormone balancer for both men and women. Raw cacao is full of healthy antioxidants.  

If you would like a little chocolate chip crunch in your shake add 2 tablespoons of raw cacao nibs at the end and blitz for 5 – 10 seconds.

1 medium frozen banana

2 Tbsp raw cacao or cocoa powder

2 Tbsp almond butter (or any unsalted nut butter)

1 Tbsp maca powder

1 Tbsp maple syrup (or 2 fresh dates)

1 cup almond milk

tiny pinch of Himalayan salt

Place the banana, cacao powder, almond butter, maca powder, maple syrup, almond milk and pinch of salt in the blender.  Mix on high-speed until you have a smooth consistency.

Pour into 2 glasses, sprinkle with cacao powder and enjoy.

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creamy oat cinnamon & banana smoothie

11th January 2015

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My son had dental work done the other day and found it difficult to eat anything solid. This is where this smoothie came in, inspired by Donna’s breakfast oat smoothie.  Creamy, filling and wonderfully nutritious for a liquid meal.

Oats are a wonderful source of protein, high in folate, vitamin E, iron, magnesium and zinc.  They are also known for their cleansing properties.  The soaking of the rolled oats increases their digestibility, enabling the nutrients to be better absorbed by your body and creating a creamier consistency.  The nut butter boosts the protein in the smoothie…great for two growing hungry, happy teenagers.

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creamy oat cinnamon & banana smoothie

Makes 2 large glasses

ingredients :

cup whole grain rolled oats  (If you don’t want to wait to soak the oats you can use quick cooking oats but whole rolled oats give a better result nutritionally)

2 cups  hemp or nut milk of your choice

2 medjool dates

1 small apple, cored

2 medium frozen bananas

1 Tblsp ground flaxseeds

2 Tblsp almond butter

1 tsp vanilla essence

cinnamon powder, sprinkling on top

preparation :

Soak the oats with a drop of fresh lemon juice and cover with filtered water for an hour or preferably overnight.

In a high-speed blender, add the oats, nut milk, medjool dates, apple, almond butter, vanilla essence and ground flaxseeds.  Blend on high until you have a creamy consistency.

Pour into a glass, sprinkle liberally with cinnamon powder and enjoy.

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resources :

http://nourishedkitchen.com/soaked-oatmeal-recipe/

http://www.greenthickies.com/benefits-of-oats/

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nasturtiums – a tea, a pesto and a cure

31st August 2014

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How I love this plant. They are such a visual treat.  Especially when my neglected garden is looking somewhat sad in abundance, there are always nasturtiums gracefully filling in the bare spaces to a sparse garden.  They are their own abundant gift!  Neglect is their most valued possession. They go about their own business, trailing through our poor soil and semi-shaded positions, cascading edible bright yellow, orange, and rust-red flowers as they go.  They even self-seed and surprise us in all sorts of places you would least expect.  I add their peppery leaves and colourful flowers to salads, and add the leaves to green smoothies when greens are very few and far between.  For the tastiest nasturtium leaves, keep them well watered, which helps to moderate the spiciness of the leaves and flowers.  They make wonderful garlands and colourful decorations on and around birthday cakes.

The flowers were a favourite of the Victorians, and in the language of flowers, they stand for patriotism and fatherly love.

Nasturtiums secrete a mustard oil which insects find attractive and they will seek them out in preference to any cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts, kolrobi and turnips growing nearby.  It is wonderful to have them wander between crops to act as a decoy for insects and as a flavour- improving agent, however, slugs, as I have found, enjoy hiding beneath the shade of their broad leaves.  If you graze or scratch yourself while working in the garden, smearing a bruised leaf over the area will aid in a swift healing.

Nasturtiums have a high concentration of vitamin C, iron and other minerals, and are also a natural antibiotic.  The gentle antibiotic reaction makes it ideal for treating minor colds and flu.  Eating a couple of leaves a day is said to help clear up acne.  Apparently, it is great for the hair, as nasturtium tea applied to the head scalp, increases circulation and hair growth.  It is also a great toner for oily skin.

Chewing the leaves is a good way to disinfect one’s mouth.  They’re a means for boosting appetite and stimulating digestion.P1080674 P10806394V7A5057_1980x1297

nasturtium tea

Place one cup of flowers, leaves and buds in a liter of boiling water in a jug.  Cover and allow to brew for 15 mins.  Strain and drink or use a hair rinse or toner this is also a great spray over plants to protect them against unwanted bugs.

nasturtium pesto

Makes 1 cup

ingredients :

2 cups packed nasturtium leaves

1 cup packed nasturtium flowers

¾ cup cold pressed organic olive oil

¾ cup lightly toasted walnuts

½ cup grated parmesan cheese

pinch of salt

preparation :

Pick a basket of fresh leaves and flowers without any blemishes.  If you are light on of the flowers, then leaves only are just fine.  Thoroughly wash and dry the leaves and flowers; tear larger leaves in half.

Place the leaves, flowers, lightly toasted and cooled walnuts, olive oil, salt and parmesan into a blender or food processor, and blend until smooth.  Ladle into a jar and drizzle over olive oil to prevent browning.

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References :

http://www.alchemy-works.com/tropaeolum.html

http://www.thewoodenspoon.net.au/recipes/nasturtiums/

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quick no-soak plant-based milk – hemp milk

9th August 2014

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Hemp is a quick plant-based milk to make because, unlike almond or oat, it doesn’t need to be soaked overnight.  Hemp seeds (hulled hemp nuts) are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, all 10 essential amino acids, calcium, potassium, phosphorous, vitamin A and magnesium.  I find the taste a little grassy, so sometimes I use half-hemp and half-hazelnuts (also no need to soak) – both are very convenient and quick. Drink it on its own, add a little sweetener or spice for a healthy pick-me-up, or a good sprinkling of chia seeds to create an incredible breakfast pudding.

I also have been putting more awareness into our eating habits as a family.  We eat very healthy in general, but after a consultation on my astrology reading with my teacher recently, I have made some other changes related to changes in my body due to age and hormonal effects.  I have been experiencing a lot of heat in my body and a break out of rashes due to this, which also affect my sleep.  My children as well, being in that delicate teenage year period, are also experiencing a lot of changes and irritations in their skin due to hormones.  I have learned some natural and intuitive methods that place an important role in creating such balances needed.

– Include more dark leafy greens and citrus as these are important to add more fibre, phytonutrients, calcium, magnesium, vitamin E, D and zinc.  Get your hands dirty and grow these greens yourself.  It helps to connect with the earth and its cycles and flow, and in return, it connects you with yourself.

– Use fat sources such as Omega-3 (walnuts, pumpkin seeds, flax,chia and hemp seeds) and the very important healthy fats (coconut oil, avocado, unheated olive oil, real butter/ ghee)

– Add raw honey, bee pollen and royal jelly into your diet, which can greatly balance the hormonal cycle

– Avoid sugar, any artificial sweeteners, soda; limit conventional dairy, refined carbohydrates and grains in general; avoid soy products, plastics, conventional personal care products 

– Take care of your protein intake to stabilize blood sugar levels (sprouted nuts and seeds, nut butter, beans/lentils, quinoa, oats, foods high in Omega 3 fatty acids etc)

– Being in nature and movement are very important.  Breathe.

– Start paying attention to your cycle and to the moon and your time for rest. 

– Meditation and quiet time

References and more helpful information: here and here

Most importantly, I try not to snack in-between meals which I spoke a lot about here, and leave at least 3 – 4 hours between each meal to allow adequate time for the food to digest.  This also allows those nutrients and vitamins from the food time to absorb, without the constant interference of other foods and over-working of the digestive system.  I also try listen to my body, and eat only when I am hungry and drink only when I am thirsty.

gathering…..

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hemp milk (no soaking required)

ingredients :

1 cup hemp seeds

3 cups filtered water

preparation :

Rinse hemp seeds well and place in a blender with 3 cups of filtered water.  Blend on high for about a minute. Place the nut bag or cloth over a wide-mouth jug and pour the blended mixture into it.  Strain the milk until only the pulp is left.  Use your hand to squeeze out the last of the milk.  Pour into a sterilized glass jar.

Homemade milk does separate, so be sure to give your milk a very good shake before using.  The milk keeps for about three days in an air-tight container in the fridge.

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