Calming Reishi Tonic

Calming Reishi Tonic

I’ve been incorporating adaptogens in my daily life to increase energy, relieve stress, relax me before I go to bed, and so on.  The list goes on as adaptogens have a myriad of benefits for your body.  So, what are adaptogens?  They are non-toxic plants that have been used for centuries in Chinese and Ayurvedic healing traditions.  They help the body resist stressors and are immune boosting.  You can take them in supplement form or in powder form (my preferred method).

Adaptogens give me the much-needed boost throughout my day.  This Calming Reishi Tonic utilizes Gynostemma tea, a calming tea I drink often before bed time and Reishi Mushroom powder, which increases energy, improves digestion and soothes inflammation.  Reishi can be quite bitter so add your favorite sweetener to the drink.  The Calming Reishi Tonic is creamy and delicious due to the homemade almond milk incorporated into it.  I did a quick soak of my almonds (15 minutes in boiling hot water), drained them and added the remaining ingredients to my blender.  Once blended, you strain the mixture into a medium saucepan and serve immediately.  This tonic is in my hot beverage rotation on most weekends.  I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the additions of adaptogens in my life.  It’s made quite difference.

 

Calming Reishi Tonic//makes 1 serving

Steep 1 tsp loose leaf Gynostemma Tea in 1 1/2 cups water (I used @immortalitea_company)
1/4 tsp Reishi powder
2 heaping tbsp soaked almonds
1 date
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon 

Combine the soaked almonds, steeped tea, dates, and spices in a high-speed blender. Purée on high. Strain tea through a fine sieve in a medium pot. Bring to a simmer, being careful not to let the milk boil. Serve warm. 

Pumpkin Banana Smoothie

Part II: On-The-Go Breakfast Series

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Hey guys!  Welcome to Part II of my On-The-Go Breakfast Series.  Today I bring you a Pumpkin Banana Smoothie made with dates, cinnamon, coconut yogurt, almond milk and maca powder. This is my first time drinking a smoothie with pumpkin and it will not be my last.  Delicious, creamy and fall inspired.  Smoothies are wonderful additions to your breakfast routine, as you can pack all that’s good and good for you in liquid form.  But, take caution and try not to overload your smoothie with tons of fruit, sweeteners, or fruit juice.  The key is to be strategic and intentional with building your smoothie.  Here are my tips for building a great smoothie:

How To Build A Better Smoothie

The Base: Start off with unsweetened non-dairy milk (I use almond milk), coconut water, coconut milk, kefir or regular milk.  Coconut water and coconut milk will add a subtle sweetness to your smoothie.  Try not to use fruit juice as a base as you’ll be increasing the sugar content of the smoothie.

The Add-In’s: Now for the main players.  Add in your favorite fruits and veggies, fresh or frozen, about a ½ cup to 1 ½ cups.  If you remember, freeze your bananas as they will give your smoothies a super creamy texture. Go seasonal as I’ve done here with the Pumpkin Banana Smoothie or use what you have on hand.  You can also go tropical with banana, pineapple and coconut or you can go green and add spinach, kale and dandelion greens.  I’m partial to the green smoothie.  If you have leftover roasted sweet potatoes or cauliflower, add these also.  All of these add-in’s will add different nutrients to your smoothie and tons of fiber so mix it up. 

The Fats: Add in healthy fats to your smoothie such as nuts, nut butters, avocado, flax and coconut oil.  I love adding nut butters to my smoothie.  My favorite after dinner smoothie is Banana, Cacao Powder, and Almond Butter.  It satisfies my sweet tooth as well as my chocolate cravings.

Once you've got down the basics of your smoothie, you can experiment and add protein powders, maca powder, a superfood from Peru with hormone balancing properties and increased energy level benefits, matcha tea, fresh turmeric (anti-inflammatory properties), beet powder, bee pollen, and so on. The possibilities are endless.

I finished off this smoothie with some cacao nibs and a sprinkling of my homemade granola (recipe here).  I was satisfied until lunch and my body thanked me for it.

 

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Pumpkin Banana Smoothie//makes 1 serving, just for you

smoothie
1 cup non-dairy unsweetened milk
1 frozen banana
¾ cup pumpkin puree, canned or fresh
2 Medjool dates, chopped
½ cup coconut yogurt
1 tablespoon maca powder
1 tsp cinnamon

toppings
Cacao Nibs
Granola

Add all the ingredients to your blender.  Blend until smooth.  You may need to stop and scrape down the sides until all ingredients are well incorporated.  Add more milk if smoothie is too thick.  Top smoothie with cacao nibs and granola.  Serve immediately.

Matcha Mint Chocolate Chip "Shake"

Today’s recipe, my Matcha Mint Chocolate Chip Shake is sponsored by my new friends at DōMatcha.

I have been consuming matcha tea almost every day for the last six years.  The benefits of matcha tea are endless.  Matcha is packed with antioxidants, is rich in fiber, chlorophyll and vitamins.  It does contain caffeine (Woo Hoo!) so if you’re not a coffee drinker like me, matcha is the way to go.  As a matter of fact, the caffeine boost that you receive is gradual and steady producing a sense of calm throughout your day.  You won’t experience the ups and downs, then eventual crash that coffee brings.

I first learned about matcha tea while taking an Art in Non-Western Societies class in college.  It was in this class that I learned that this tea is used in the Japanese tea ceremony called Chanoyu or Sado.  It is a well-choreographed ceremony that was reserved for Samurai’s and royalty, but is enjoyed today by everyone that visits Japan and wants the experience (raises hand).  The equipment in the ceremony consists of the chakin (small white cloth to wipe the tea bowl), chawan (tea bowl), chashaku (tea scoop), and chasen (tea whisk) to create the frothiness of the tea.  Matcha was born during the 8th century by travelling Zen monks from Japan that brought the tea and tea seeds from China and began their tradition of cultivating, processing and preparing powdered green tea.  The ceremony was also born from the Zen monks, where they based the ceremony on the four principles of harmony, purity, tranquility and respect.

In addition to drinking the tea daily, I use it in my smoothies and other recipes.  This smoothie contains coconut milk (chilled), spinach, mint, bananas and matcha tea powder.  I finished it off with some coco whip and cacao nibs. Delicious, nutritious and refreshing.

 

Enjoy!

Matcha Mint Chocolate Chip Shake//serves 2

2 frozen bananas
2 cans (14-oz) coconut milk, chilled
1 cup spinach
1 handful mint
2 teaspoons Matcha

Garnish
Coconut Whipped cream (recipe here)
Cacao Nibs
Mint sprig

Blend all ingredients on high speed until smooth. Top with coconut whipped cream and cacao nibs