By Devon Chappell —
How about a cup of joy, my friend?
Through our senses, the changing of the seasons, love, and desire we have constant reminders that we are alive. But if we are not soulfully connected to each aspect of life, we can end up in conflict within ourselves and with our bodies. With proper nutrition and a good head on our shoulders, we can carry ourselves through our days with our body, mind, and soul in harmony.
Each season brings something new, and while change is good, it’s not always easy. Most of us rely on our wardrobes to help us through the changing weather the seasons bring; but, have you ever imagined that you can dress yourself from the inside out? Through food and nutrition, exercise, and the agility of a mind that can overcome matter, this is possible. Well, okay, maybe not completely. In the dead of winter at -40, we ourselves cannot actually become that warm bowl of soup or wool sweater.
But think of how in summer nothing beats a cold drink at the lake on a smokin’ hot day. And now, as the air begins to cool and leaves make their beautiful turn from green to an array of golden, orange, and red and then fall leaving bare branches and winter just around the mountain, it is almost vital to have that perfect hot beverage to bring the sunshine inside our bodies during those cold months. So what could be better than combining some of our favourite superfoods that have warming properties with that steamy drink to warm our blood and wrap up our bones in metaphoric long johns?
Here are a few recipes that have been tested and found true. Just for goodness sake or a pre-winter blue.
During the holidays, it’s great spending time with family and friends. The joy of good company, conversation, and happiness can do wonders for our health. But what makes that special three-hour talk with your long-distant relative as they hold your hand and you smile and nod and calmly say, “yes, of course,” and “wow,” even more special is the food! It’s amazing how great food can enliven your senses and please your soul. Especially pumpkin pie. So try this holiday in a cup, for an even greater reunion.
- 1/4 cup pumpkin puree (roast the pumpkin and make your own, or canned will do as well)
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk, cashew milk, or coconut milk
- 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 Tbsp raw cacao powder
- 2 tsp raw maca root powder
- sweetener of choice, such as honey,Stevia, or agave, to taste
Blend ingredients together. Pour contents into a pot and heat until tolerable to your taste buds. Get crazy with a dollop of whipped cream, homemade, of course.
Medicinal Hot Chocolate
- 16 oz. unsweetened almond milk
- 1 Tbsp organic cacao powder (don’t get confused with cocoa, although that works, too)
- 1/2 Tbsp raw organic maca root powder
- 1/2 Tbsp organic coconut oil
- 1 tsp vanilla bean powder
- 6-8 goji berries (to top)
- cinnamon (to top)
Add ingredients into a blender, Vita-mix, immersion blender, hand-mixer, or whatever you have to froth up all that awesomeness. Pour contents into a pot and simmer and stir just until hot then pour into a favourite mug. Top it all off with a sprinkle of goji berries and cinnamon. Love. Your. Life.
The last drink recipe has a very special ingredient that I have not spoken of yet in these articles, but which has definitely made an impact on the world of health. This special ingredient of the Earth, from the trees of birch, in the sacred form of a mushroom, goes by the name of Chaga. I’m sure most of you health enthusiasts have heard of chaga before, but if not, just ask that big, friendly fellow, Douglas Gook at the local Williams Lake Farmers’ Market and he’d be more than happy to tell you all about its intriguing health properties.
Chaga Chai By Dev
- 4 Tbsp chaga grinds or powder (if you find some wild, great!)
- 4 L of spring or distilled water
Place in a pot and heat to scalding, but do not let boil. Let that steep until cool and store in a cool place. Don’t worry: it won’t go bad. The anti-fungal properties of chaga prevent it from spoiling.Add these ingredients to a separate pot:
- 4 L spring or distilled water
- 25 cardamon pods
- handful of cinnamon bark
- 2 Tbsp clove
- 10 or so black peppercorns (25 turns on a pepper grinder)
- star of anise (extract works)
- garam masala mix (optional)
- 2-4 black tea bags (optional for caffeine)
Place all ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a light simmer and place the lid on. Leave for 1-2 hours, take heat off, and let sit overnight. Strain through fine mesh or cheesecloth and place in fridge. When you’re ready for a wicked tea, be it during the morning, night, or daydream, combine the two teas half and half into a pot that you and your friends can share, heat it up, and serve in handmade mugs… Or whatever you like.
Remember: Anything taken in extreme quantities can have upsetting results. When using something from the Earth to better your well-being, it is best to treat it with respect rather than potentially over-indulging in an attempt to speed up the nourishing effects. Just because a superfood/herb works wonders on one person doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right for you. Always use caution when introducing a new element into the temple that is your body.
Devon Chappell is something of an impressionist with therapeutic hands. He holds a focus on what is real when it comes to food. He has a personal interest in nutrition and art and when he is in his element, Devon brings nature to the kitchen.