Mounds of Zenergy

Recently, I was graciously offered a free box of an amazing organic superfood tea made by Buddha Teas, an independent, environmentally responsible company set in Carlsbad, California. When Buddha Teas had asked me which tea I wanted to try, I was immediately drawn into the vast product offerings on their website; from bags, loose leaf, green teas, black teas, herbal teas and specialty teas, I knew right away that I’d be ordering from them often (and I hadn’t even tried it yet!). After browsing for a good 20 minutes, I finally landed on the Zenergy Blend, mostly because I’m an athlete and could always use an extra boost of energy! And this particular blend contained a unique blend of Ginkgo Biloba, Green Tea, Ginger Root, Maca Root and Ashwagandha; a true powerhouse of adaptogenic goodness!

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I was so excited to try this out from the very second I got my hands around the beautiful packaging; a sturdy, 100% Recyclable, flip-top box with a gold-seal stamped logo on the front. Clear indications that it is certified Organic, Non GMO, 100% Kosher, contains no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives…and they even use unbleached tea bags. All of this was a plus for me since I’m a stickler for clean ingredients. You can tell that these guys really care about their tea (and take it very seriously).

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I threw a pot of boiling water on, prepped a tea bag and steeped for about 5 minutes (as instructed). As many teas do, they have their own “motivational quotes” on the tea tags; I mean, who doesn’t love a little slice of wisdom with their tea? I sat down to relax with a hot cup of this tea (nothing added) and was pleasantly pleased at it’s mild, yet, full bodied flavor. John, from Buddha Teas, had mentioned that this was a very unique tasting tea which is “Maca forward” with a slightly creamy texture. He hit the nail directly on the head! Thankfully, I love the subtle nutty flavor of Maca Root; and along with the Ginger and light Green Tea notes, it was perfectly balanced. For those who enjoy the gentle flavors of Ginger Root Tea and Green Tea, this blend is an exceptional choice. Not only is it calming to drink but it provides a subtle “pep in your step” as well as providing other nutrients not found in other teas.

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Now for the part I like best…hot tonics! I often brew and blend many of my favorite teas into a tonic which includes a variety of superfoods, adaptogens, berries, nuts and seeds. With Zenergy’s already super creamy texture, I began to daydream about Dark Chocolate…and Coconut; kind of like a Mounds bar…except healthy…and fashioned into a Chinese Herbology inspired medicinal tonic. Fast forward to 5 minutes later, I had gathered all the ingredients together and threw em’ in the blender. The rest is history.

So sweet, chocolatey and creamy! And with just the right boost of ZENERGY! Enjoy the recipe below.

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MOUNDS OF ZENERGY SMOOTHIE (Salted Chocolate Coconut Tonic)

  • 8oz freshly brewed, hot Buddha Teas Zenergy Blend Tea
  • 4 Khadrawy Dates (pitted and soaked)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Raw Cacao Powder
  • 1 tsp Reishi Mushroom Powder
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Flakes
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil (Unrefined)
  • 1 tsp Coconut Nectar
  • pinch freshly ground Pink Himalayan Salt

Boil some water for brewing your Zenergy Tea. Once boiled, pour over 1 tea bag into a cup or brewing pot; 8 oz of liquid to 1 tea bag is a good serving ratio. While the tea is steeping, place the pitted dates into a small bowl and pour some of the boiled water over them for soaking. By the time you prepare/measure out all other ingredients and add them to your blender jar, the dates will be nice and soft for blending. Discard the soaking water and put the dates in with the rest of the mixture. Once the tea has steeped for at least 5 minutes, pour into the blender. Cover the jar with the lid tightly. Begin to blend on the low setting, gradually working up to high speed. Blend until perfectly smooth. Pour into your favorite mug and sprinkle some Ground Cinnamon on top if desired. Enjoy!

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.

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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!