fall staple: sunshine latte
I’ve experimented with so many herbal replacements for coffee, my favorites being chicory or reishi mushroom based brews, matcha (although it makes me feel nauseated sometimes! not sure why) and tea (similar ritual and a gentler, creative buzz). I still love coffee, but sometimes it can feel too harsh, or I went a cup of something warm and comforting in the afternoon. I was still on the hunt for something a little more rich than tea. Then I fell in love with turmeric, deeply. The golden color is sunshine in a cup. Especially on early or cloudy or gloomy mornings, a cup of turmeric latte is the best medicine to me.
Turmeric has a host of benefits: superb at reducing inflammation, anti-cancer (helps prevent initial DNA mutation, keeps tumors from growing, AND can even reprogram cancer cells to self destruct naturally. magic, right? read more HERE.) This rhizome is a daily staple for me. Living with rheumatoid arthritis, turmeric has been my best friend for years. I make this for us when we feel like we are coming down with something, as turmeric is wonderful for sore throats and boosting to the immune system. (side note- I have a whole section about immunity + recipes for other immune boosting tonics in my ebook). If you live in a mild climate, you can probably grow your own turmeric if you have a little space for a larger pot or box planter.
I’ve never tried this with powdered turmeric, as the fresh root is plentifully available here and it tastes amazing. If you do use powdered, I recommend starting with 1/2 teaspoon and adding more as you see fit, up to 1 teaspoon. Adjust the other ingredients to your liking to make your perfect brew.
2 tbsp coconut butter (not oil!*) OR 2 tbsp hemp seeds
a 1 inch piece, more or less, of fresh turmeric, sliced
2 soft, pitted Medjool dates OR 1 tbsp maple syrup OR 1 tbsp honey
1/8 tsp ground black pepper (don’t skip this! it works synergistically with the turmeric for best absorption)
optional add ins: pinch of cardamom, pinch of salt, slice of ginger, vanilla
Add all ingredients to a blender (if you don’t have a high speed blender it may be trickier to get it to blend totally smooth so be patient). Pour boiling water (or sometimes I do hot ginger tea or warmed plant milk in lieu of water) into your mug to measure how much water you’ll need. Fill it up, leaving about an inch of space to the rim. Pour hot water into blender and blend at high speed until very smooth and frothy. Pour into your mug (if you don’t have a high speed blender you may wish to pour through a fine mesh strainer to get any bits out) and wash your blender right away. Set the blender carafe in the sun to eliminate any turmeric stains. Enjoy and have an amazing morning (or afternoon!).
*coconut butter is dried coconut flesh, pureed into a butter, intact in all the vitamins, minerals, and fiber goodness of the whole food. coconut oil is purely the fat and has no nutritive value. Think of it like tahini vs sesame oil- both made from sesame, but totally different and the tahini is packed with nutrients which the oil has none of. See a tutorial for DIY coconut butter HERE.