Thursday, March 17, 2016

CARDAMOM LATTE with ginger, vanilla bean, and reishi

There are times when I'm called to the kitchen less for the creativity of it but more out of a primal desire for something my body desperately needs in that moment. Not in a surface "I'm craving sugar but that's probably covering up a deeper need" sort of way.

This desire is deep and earthy - flowing from a bodily wisdom I have yet to fully understand.

Over time I've learned to pay close attention to this call and surrender to the part of me governed by ancient wisdom. It's been interesting within the context of recipe creation. There's an undeniable inner intuition that drives what I take from the cupboard and add to the pot. In these moments, brain follows visceral.

I call it meditation.

It's less about the recipe and more about the sacred within the daily. It's not unlike waking on a cool summer morning to the sparkle of sunrise wrapped in a dance with mist on the calm of the water outside my window. The world is alive with enchantment and possibility within the dew and earth and air.

It's tangible, physical, earthy magic.

Sometimes I have the wherewithal to write down what my hands are doing. This is one such time and I'm so excited to share it with you. Move slow, feel what your body is doing while you create. Lean over the pot and take in the changing aroma. Feel the steam on your face. Notice what this does in your body. If you have the sudden urge to add something, do it! Follow this beautiful intelligence we each have within the muscle and bone and blood and organs of our body.

Sip mindfully, with loving intention, and smile. Invite a little magic.

Medicinal Note: If you're familiar with Ayurvedic medicine, this tea is excellent for balancing vata and kapha dosha types. It's grounding and gently warming; acts on the spleen, lung, stomach, and large intestine; improves the circulation of chi [life force]; and works to dispel mucus, cold, dampness, and phelgm. The recipe came to me on a very windy, cool spring [vata aggravating] day. Cardamom is such a wonderful whole-body tonic. In addition, reishi mushroom is fantastic for boosting the immune system.

Serves 3

Note: all herbs dried and cut or whole.

6 c. water
4 T. whole cardamom pods
2 T. fennel seed [optional]
2 tsp. cut ginger
1 whole vanilla bean, cut in half [reserve other half for use at another time]
1 slice reishi mushroom
3 c. tigernut milk or milk of choice
2 - 3 T. pure, raw honey [to taste, orange blossom honey is wonderful]

In a medium size saucepan combine water, cardamom, fennel, ginger, half the vanilla bean, and reishi mushroom. Bring to boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to to simmer and cook for 30 minutes or until liquid is reduced to half [approximately 3 cups].

Meanwhile, place milk and honey in a small saucepan. Heat on low until milk is very warm but not boiling, stirring occasionally.

Pour reduced tea through fine mesh strainer into three large mugs [approximately 1 cup of tea in each mug]. Divide the warmed milk between the mugs [approximately 1 cup of milk in each mug].

Serve immediately or store in refrigerator for 24 - 48 hours to serve at a later time.

These herbs aren't necessarily inexpensive so you can reserve the cooked herbs to use a second time. Tea will be less intense so either reduce water or add a few more herbs.

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