Chaga Chai Tonic (Hot)

One of my favorite healthy treats to prepare daily are Medicinal Tonics. Always plant-based, served hot or cold; all varieties of medicinal tonics are born from the ancient healing practices of many different cultures around the world. Some of the more popular therapies come from Ayurvedic Medicine (India), Chinese Herbalism and Native Americans. These cultures depended heavily on preventing and curing the ailments of their people by extracting the nutrients from various plant species and utilizing their unique health benefits into the form of a tea. In many cases, a mixture of carefully chosen plants and herbs can be used alchemically to solve multiple issues.

In the modern day, these practices still hold strong but in much smaller, scattered communities; usually limited to those interested in health and longevity. Mainstream medicine has done away with herbal treatments and focus only on prescription chemicals and surgical therapies, all while the nutritional value of our food is destroyed by the high profit companies who crowd our supermarkets with processed food-like products, filled with refined sugars, additives and preservatives. It’s no wonder why Cancer, Heart Disease, Respiratory Disease and Diabetes top the charts for leading causes of death. Our attention is primarily focused on the Healthcare industry, when it should be on the Food & Agriculture industry. Prevention is the key word here and that has EVERYTHING to do with food. And from where I’m sitting; fresh pressed juices, blended smoothies and superfood tonics are ALL very strong ways we can prevent illness and disease.

Take for example this hot, creamy tonic I made today. It’s something you can drink everyday as a general “wellness” beverage. It is the very essence of prevention because of the carefully chosen ingredients. But it tastes so good, you’d probably have no problem replacing your usual Coffee or Tea with this. Sometimes I go very simple and straightforward; other times I like to experiment and add some complexity to address more than one health issue. For this tonic, I’ve borrowed therapeutic and culinary ideas from multiple cultures to create something that not only tastes wonderful but is packed with vitamins, minerals, iron, protein, magnesium and healthy fats. It is a powerhouse of antioxidants, polysaccharides and phytonutrients. It’s got heart healthy, immunity-boosting, anti-viral, digestion, liver, skin and cognitive function benefits; and with none of the over-stimulating effects found in coffee, tea or other caffeine products.

So, do yourself a solid and check this out…your body will thank you for it.

———

16 oz Freshly Brewed Chaga Tea
4 Dates (pitted)
1/4 Raw Cashews
1/4 Raw Pepitas (shelled)
1/2″ Fresh Ginger (peeled)
1 tsp Reishi Mushroom Powder
1 Tbsp Lucuma
1/4 tsp Ground Cardamom
1/4 tsp Ground Allspice
1/4 tsp Ground Clove
1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 Tbsp Pure Maple Syrup

Brew Chaga Tea according to package. When steeped long enough (usually 30-40 minutes), pour into a small pot on Med/Low to bring heat back up. Add Dates, Cashews, Pipitas and Ginger to pot. Bring to a low boil and then back down to a gentle simmer (the idea is to soften/soak our nuts, seeds and ginger so they will blend easy). While the Tea mixture is simmering, prepare all of your dry ingredients and add them into your blender. After the Tea mixture has simmered for about 10 minutes or so, carefully pour it into the blender with the dry ingredients. Add the Maple Syrup. Mixture is very hot; so take care in making sure the lid is properly held down. Carefully start the blender on low speed, slowly working up to the highest speed. Blend until very smooth (up to 1 minute or more depending on the blender). Pour into a mug and enjoy!

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